Islamabad - Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Syed Khurshid Shah yesterday termed the raid at Resident Editor The Nation Salman Masood’s house a violation of civil liberties and sanctity of private residence.

Earlier this week, a team of Rangers raided the house of Salman Masood in Islamabad without any search warrants.

Salman Masood is The Nation’s Resident Editor for Islamabad and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and a correspondent of The New York Times in Pakistan.

According to Salman Masood, the Rangers searched his house claiming to be part of a “routine search operation” but came without a warrant or presence of a magistrate.

The raid sparked a debate whether it was really a routine search operation or the house of a journalist was specifically targeted to harass him in the name of ant-terror operation.

The raid infuriated the journalists who held protests countrywide. The issue was taken in the parliament and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had to issue an apology and ordered an inquiry into how and why the search of the editor’s house was carried out.

In a statement issued yesterday, Khurshid Shah said the intimidation of journalist in this manner was “against all democratic norms and called for a thorough inquiry into the incident.”

He said the Pakistan People’s Party was against all kinds of heavy handedness by the state or government institutions.  He also supported journalists community’s protest against this intimidation of the journalist.

Meanwhile, senior PPP leader Senator Rehman Malik condemned the raid at the Salman Masood’s residence, demanding high-level inquiry into the incident.

Malik said yesterday he will raise the issue in the parliament so that such incidents do not occur again.

He said the PPP has always supported freedom for the media and such negative tactics were designed to harass the journalists who believe in independent reporting.

Senator Malik, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Interior said the PPP stands with Salman Masood in the hour of need.

He said the party does not run away from across-the-board accountability but will not tolerate selective and targeted accountability.

“If there is evidence against anybody, we will not stop the authorities from action but raids to harass law abiding citizens are against the norms of a civilised society,” he remarked.

The PPP veteran said the raid at Salman Masood’s house vindicates his party’s view that some actions in the garb of ensuring rule of law were actually intended to victimise ideological opponents.