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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06ISLAMABAD11675
2006-06-20 05:46:00
SECRET//NOFORN
Embassy Islamabad
Cable title:  

FATA: MISSING PAKISTANI JOURNALIST FOUND DEAD IN

Tags:   PK  PREL  PTER 
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VZCZCXRO4193
PP RUEHDBU RUEHLH RUEHPW
DE RUEHIL #1675/01 1710546
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 200546Z JUN 06
FM AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2225
INFO RUEHTA/AMEMBASSY ALMATY PRIORITY 9496
RUEHAH/AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT PRIORITY 0728
RUEHEK/AMEMBASSY BISHKEK PRIORITY 3694
RUEHLM/AMEMBASSY COLOMBO PRIORITY 0810
RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA PRIORITY 1548
RUEHDBU/AMEMBASSY DUSHANBE PRIORITY
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 5604
RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU PRIORITY 6661
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 8666
RUEHNT/AMEMBASSY TASHKENT PRIORITY 1408
RUEHKP/AMCONSUL KARACHI PRIORITY 1541
RUEHLH/AMCONSUL LAHORE PRIORITY 9136
RUEHPW/AMCONSUL PESHAWAR PRIORITY 7013
						S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 ISLAMABAD 011675 

SIPDIS

NOFORN
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/19/2016
TAGS: PK PREL PTER
SUBJECT: FATA: MISSING PAKISTANI JOURNALIST FOUND DEAD IN
WAZIRISTAN


Classified By: Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker, Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)



1. (U) On June 17, Pakistani media reported that the body
of Hayatullah Khan Dawar, a Pakistani journalist who has been
missing since December 5, 2005, was discovered by local
officials in North Waziristan on Friday, June 16. The Mir
Ali Assistant Political Agent Muhammad Fida Khan told the
"Daily Times" that the body was found in the Khaisor
mountains, four kilometers south of Mir Ali. Fida Khan said
that Hayatullah had been shot in the rear of his head, and
that the body was hand-cuffed and looked very weak. A long
beard suggests Hayatullah had been in captivity since his
disappearance six months ago.



2. (U) Hayatullah disappeared while working on an
investigation of the death of Egyptian al Qaeda operative
Hamza Rabia in Miran Shah, North Waziristan on December 1,


2005. Pakistani security agencies maintained that Rabia had
been killed in a blast caused by bomb-making explosives in
the house in which he was hiding. Hayatullah visited what
remained of the house to investigate Rabia's death. The
"Daily Times" described his photos of the wreckage as
including "what some Western experts determined were parts of
a Hellfire missile." Hayatullah's account, which was widely
covered in Pakistan and abroad, speculated that the missile
had been launched by a CIA drone. According to media
accounts, Hayatullah's family maintains that he began
receiving threats from "certain quarters" soon after the
story broke, with an unidentified "political administration"
official offering him three options: leave North Waziristan,
stop reporting or accept a government job.



3. (SBU) News of Hayatullah's death has prompted a strong
reaction, with sympathetic politicians turning out for
demonstrations in several cities organized by the Tribal
Union of Journalists and other media advocacy organizations.
Both the English- and Urdu-language press have condemned the
killing, which has raised more questions than it has
answered: Who abducted Hayatullah? Why was he confined for
so many months before being killed? Most press outlets have
expressed deep skepticism regarding the government's claim
that Hayatullah was kidnapped and executed by al Qaeda
sympathizers. Although stopping short of accusing the USG,
the majority have openly accused Pakistani security forces of
complicity in the journalist's death, saying that government
forces had more to gain by silencing Hayatullah -- whose
reporting directly contradicted official accounts of Rabia's
death -- than did tribal militants sympathetic to al Qaeda.
Journalists point to the timing of the disappearance so soon
after Rabia's death, the government's failure to launch a
serious public investigation into the kidnapping, the
coincidental discovery of the body soon after local officials
told the family to expect "good news" and even the handcuffs
binding the victim as evidence of government involvement in
this crime.



4. (S) The description of Hayatullah's death in the June 17
edition of the "Daily Times" tracks with details a senior
Pakistani security official shared with the Ambassador on the
evening of June 16, with the exception that the official said
that Hayatullah's body was dumped in Mir Ali proper. The GOP
official said that Hayatullah had lost 15 kilos of body
weight; his body bore clear signs of torture during his
captivity. The GOP official opined that Hayataullah had been
captured, held and interrogated by al Qaeda sympathizers who
blamed the reporter for the death of Hamza Rabia, believing
that Hayatullah and other journalists operating in the FATA
provided information on the identities and locations of
Islamic militants to Pakistani and American security forces.



5. (C) Comment: Assuming the security official's version
is accurate, it is another grim commentary on the extent to
which control in the tribal areas, especially the
Waziristans, has slipped away from the Government. The
ability of militants to kidnap, hold a execute Hayatullah and
then dump his body in a public place is a graphic, but no
longer surprising, illustration of their capacity to operate
with impunity. On the same day that Hayatullah was killed,

ISLAMABAD 00011675 002 OF 002


two female teachers and their daughters were murdered in an
adjacent agency as a warning against education for women.



6. (C) Comment (cont): Allegations that the USG may have
been involved in Hayatullah's disappearance peaked in April
2006, when a report issued by the Committee to Protect
Journalists alleged that a Pakistani military officer had
told Hayatullah's family that he had been turned over to the
U.S. In early May, the Department approved press guidance
stating "Hayatullah Khan is not known to the United States.
We have no information on his whereabouts." The press
guidance received prominent coverage in the Pakistani press
on May 10, after its release by the U.S. Consulate in
Peshawar, and is no doubt partly responsible for reducing
attention directed toward the USG in connection with this
case now that Hayatullah's body has been found. End comment.


CROCKER