Islamabad: Rangers officials raided the house of Salman Masood The Nation’s Resident Editor in Islamabad earlier this morning looking to search the premises. The officials arrived without any documents or warrant and said that a “terrorist search operation is underway”. A civilian man among the officials said he is from the “intelligence” without revealing his identity. The officials reiterated that it was a routine search operation.
Salman Masood said that a few other houses were also searched in the neighbourhood but the possibility that it was a cover up cannot be precluded. He said it was hard to escape the conclusion the whole incident was a case of harassment.
“A man in civilian clothes came and rang the bell of the house again and again. He claimed he worked for an intelligence agency. There were around six Rangers personnel with him. They said they wanted to search the house for terrorists.
“I told them they could not do so without a warrant or some proper document. They stood outside the house and said they would not leave without searching the house. I called SP Rural Islamabad on his cell phone. The police officer there told me it was routine search operation and I should cooperate.”
The official searched the drawers of Masood’s study table and asked if he had any illegal weapons hidden in the house.
“I allowed them to search the house. They were aggressive in mood and turned everything upside down opening even the drawers of every cupboard. After searching the house for ‘terrorists and weapons’ they left. They, however, did not mind me taking their photographs. They asked me if I had an illegal weapon. I told them when I don’t have a legal weapon why would I keep an illegal one,” Masood said.
Masood, who is also the Pakistan Correspondent of New York Times, is the second high profile NYT journalist targeted in recent times. Declan Walsh, the then NYT bureau chief was black listed in the year 2013, and asked to leave Pakistan. It was Walsh’s report in NYT last year that unveiled the multi-million dollar fake degree scam at Axact last year.