Pakistani journalist Saleem Shahzad, an investigative reporter with a long history of work embarrassing to the government, had confirmed recently that he was threatened by Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency officials who told him his reports were “detrimental to Pakistan’s national interests.”
So when he turned up missing this weekend, his family assumed he had been picked up by the ISI for a report about terrorist infiltration of Pakistan’s Navy, which came in the wake of the Karachi attack. They also assumed it was another warning, and he’d eventually be released unharmed.
But this time, Shahzad was found dead in his car, near the capital city of Islamabad. He was 100 miles from his home, and his body showed signs of a savage beating. It is widely assumed this was the ISI’s handiwork as well.
Of course the ISI has condemned the notion, saying it was “totally absurd” to suggest that the nation’s secretive military spy agency would be responsible for the killing. Still, the death will only add more uncomfortable attention to the shadowy agency, and will fuel distrust of its motives.