Pakistan's Supreme Court on Friday directed the government and police chiefs of Punjab province and Islamabad to submit detailed reports on the investigation conducted so far into reporter Syed Saleem Shahzad's killing.
Acting on a petition filed by a journalists' body seeking formation of an independent judicial commission to probe the abduction and murder of Shahzad, a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry issued notices to the law, information and interior secretaries to submit their responses at the next hearing on Monday.
Supreme Court Bar Association president Asma Jahangir and senior lawyer Munir Malik appeared on behalf of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), which filed the Constitutional petition, at the hearing.
Outside the court, Jahangir told reporters there were charges that a "powerful federal agency" was involved in Shahzad's death, amid allegations that ISI could be behind the killing. Such powerful institutions needed to be controlled, she said.
Jahangir said she had learnt from a representative of the Punjab government that the investigation into the killing had reached a "dead end". There were reports that Shahzad's mobile phone records had been partially erased, she indicated.
The PFUJ approached the apex court after a judicial commission formed by the government to probe Shahzad's death ran into problems within hours of its creation on Thursday.
The apex court also directed the government and police chiefs of Punjab province and Islamabad to submit detailed reports on the investigation conducted so far into Shahzad's killing.