The Foreign Office spokesperson has denied the reports that Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had written any letter to the UAE authorities, seeking expulsion of slain journalist Arshad Sharif from the Gulf country.
The 49-year-old journalist fled Pakistan in August this year to avoid arrest after he was implicated in multi ple cases, including sedition charges over an interview with PTI leader Shahbaz Gill during which the latter had made controversial comments.
Alleging threats to his life, Arshad had moved to Dubai in August and later relocated to Nairobi in Kenya.
Arshad was shot dead by the Kenyan police in a case of “mistaken identity” while he was travelling to Nairobi from Magadi town on Sunday night, October 23.
Following his death, many on social media including some PTI leaders had claimed that Sharif left for Kenya after UAE authorities refused to renew his via on the request of Pakistani officials.
In a weekly briefing on Friday, Foreign Office Spokesperson Asim Iftikhar termed the claims “baseless and fabricated”, saying it was essential that the journalist’s murder should be probed to establish the truth.
“We should wait for the investigation report of Kenyan and Pakistani inquiry committees,” he added. Replying to a question, the spokesperson said the Pakistan and Kenyan authorities were in close contact and “we will have to wait for the findings of the investigation”.
“The foreign office regrets the demise of Arshad Sharif,” Iftikhar said, adding, “His [assassination] was a serious issue.”
The spokesperson also informed the media that currently there existed no treaty between Pakistan and Kenya for mutual legal assistance.