Pakistan has become a battle ground: Haqqani

"Pakistan today is a nation brutalised by the arrogance of some who impose their ideology on the country," Haqqani said at a meeting organised at the National Press Club in memory of the slain Pakistani investigative journalist Syed Saleem Shahjad. Organised by Pakistani journalists based in the US in association with the National Press Club and Committee to Protect Journalists, the meeting was attended by a large number of journalists from the sub-continent and mainstream US media.

In a resolution they demanded the Pakistani Government to bring to justice the perpetrators of the heinous crime. The resolution also demanded the family of Shahjad be protected and Pakistan government take steps to protect all journalists and media houses in the country.

"Human rights violations all over Pakistan, in particular those on Baluchistan should come to an end," said the resolution read out by Anwar Iqbal, Washington- correspondent of the popular Dawn newspaper. Iqbal said that in recent months, one journalist is being killed in Pakistan and it is increasingly becoming difficult for journalists to work freely and perform their duties.

Noting that he was in regular contact with Shahjad, Haqqani, himself a former journalist said he is in for a full investigation into the incident. "I am not only for a full investigation, but also an end to all this is happening... There are leaders in Pakistan who recognize that what is happening is wrong," he said.

Haqqani criticised all those people in Pakistan who have a tendency to blame all the ills inside the country either on the US or on its immediate neighbour (India). "There may be elements in the government who are responsible for the criminal behaviour. But there are people in the government who are victims of this criminal behaviour," the envoy said.

Bob Dietz of the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said Shahjad was brutally murdered by the elements in the establishment. "This is a clod blooded brutal murder, beaten to death," he said. "This is time for all journalists to take a stand together," said Masood Haider of the Dawn newspaper.

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