APNS rejects allegations

KARACHI A leading newspaper publisher in Pakistan and the president of the nationwide newspapers body has reacted sharply to charges by the Inter-Services Intelligence Agency (ISI) that allegations by Human Rights Watch of the agencys involvement in the murder of Pakistani journalist Salim Shahzad were 'baseless, stated a press release issued by Hameed Haroon, President All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS). It has come to my notice that a spokesman of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) while speaking to the official national news agency in Islamabad yesterday has questioned the 'baseless allegations levelled by Human Rights Watch on the basis of an e-mail from Salim Shahzad, the Bureau Chief of the Hong Kong-based Asia Times Online, in their possession. Shahzad was murdered three days ago near Islamabad after being abducted by unknown persons. I wish to state on record that the e-mail in the possession of Ali Dayan, the monitor for Human Rights Watch (HRW) stationed in Lahore Pakistan, is indeed one of the three identical e-mails sent by Shahzad to HRW, his employers (Asia Times Online) and to his former employer, myself. I also wish to verify that allegations levelled by HRW at the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) are essentially in complete consonance with the contents of the slain journalists e-mail.

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