The order to kill Pakistani investigative journalist Saleem Shahzad came from a senior officer on Pakistan army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani's staff, The New Yorker magazine said in its latest issue.
"In fact, according to the American official, reliable intelligence indicates that the order to kill Shahzad came from a senior officer on General Kayani's staff.
"The officer made it clear that he was speaking on behalf of Kayani himself," the extensive report on the journalist's killing, that shocked the media fraternity across the world, said.
However, General Athar Abbas, the spokesman for the Pakistani Army, called this allegation "preposterous".
The report said the presence of Islamists in the Navy, and at Mehran Naval base that was attacked by militants was not a secret among Pakistanis.
But Shahzad's article was particularly "incendiary". Not only did he report that sailors at the base had helped the attackers; he wrote that the Navy's leadership was bargaining directly with al-Qaeda, the report said.
"Consider the time when Saleem's piece came out. The military felt humiliated. It felt backed into a corner," the report quoted an unnamed American official as saying who added, "When you're backed into a corner like that, you strike back."
Shahzad was a Pakistani journalist working for a portal 'Asia Times Online' when he went missing on May 29, soon after writing a report on the May 22 Mehran naval station terror attack that had destroyed two US made P3C Orion maritime surveillance aircraft and killed 10.