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Special team to probe Pakistan journalist's killing

world Updated: Feb 21, 2009 14:34 IST

IANS
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A special police team has been formed to probe the killing of Pakistani journalist Musa Khankhel while he was reporting on a peace deal brokered with the Taliban in the restive Swat Valley.

Frontier Police Deputy Inspector General Malakand Shaukat Hayat will supervise the team, formed on the directive of Inspector General of Police Malik Naveed.

Quoting a Frontier Police official, The News said Saturday that the team would collect data on the cellular phone calls made by Khankhel to find out who was in contact with him during the last few hours of his life.

"Other pieces of evidence would also be collected," the newspaper added.

Khankhel, 28, was abducted and killed Wednesday while accompanying the caravan of the Tanzim Nifaz Shariat-e-Muhammadi (TNSM) of radical cleric Sufi Mohammad while it was on its way to the Swat valley for peace talks with the Taliban that control the region.

The Khyber Union of Journalists has also formed a three-member panel to probe Khankhel's killing.

Union president Mohammad Riaz will head the panel, which will include two members from Peshawar and one from Swat.

The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) will bear the entire expanses of the team during the probe, including their travel and accommodation.

Riaz, according to a report in The News, will name the other two members of the team and start the investigation from Sunday, during which the team will also visit Swat and will meet the family members and close friends of the slain journalist.

They will also meet cross sections of society in the area, officials, Islamist leaders of Swat and senior journalists, the newspaper added.

The team will submit its report in the Biannual Delegates Meeting (BDM), the supreme forum of the PFUJ, to be held at Faisalabad March 6-8.

The PFUJ is also planning "safety training" course for journalists working in Swat and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas in April, followed by another in July.