ISLAMABAD – The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Monday dismissed the report of the Special Joint Investigation Team formed to investigate the murder of senior journalist Arshad Sharif, who was killed by Kenyan police in Nairobi last year.
The investigators from top institutions submitted a report to the Chamber of the country’s top judge, updating on details of the probe conducted in the African country and in the United Arab Emirates.
CJP led the bench which also includes Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Jamal Mandokhel, Justice Syed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, and Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar.
At the onset of the hearing, CJP Bandial questioned Nairobi’s resistance to stop cooperating with Islamabad in the murder of the late journalist, who escaped his homeland while facing a flurry of cases.
CJP remarked that the Ministry of Foreign Office should look into the matter and brief concerned officials on the matter. He directed investigators to look assassination of a defiant TV host in two components, with one comprising an internal probe and the second one including international factors.
During the hearing, Chief Justice directed the JIT chief the additional attorney general to probe the leak of the fact-finding report, which was covered by local media.
The apex court further mentioned approaching the United Nations for assistance in high-profile murder case. Later, the court adjourned the hearing to the first week of March.
The killing of Arshad Sharif
Arshad Sharif was shot dead in Nairobi, Kenya, in October, which the Kenyan police described as a case of “mistaken identity”.
Journalist Arshad Sharif shot dead in Kenya; confirms wife
Since the killing of Arshad Sharif, many in Pakistan, including Imran Khan-led PTI, had been urging the Supreme Court to take suo motu notice of the “target killing”. They claimed that Arshad was forced to leave Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates — where he had stayed for a short time before heading to Kenya. The Foreign Office has, however, dismissed these claims.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had also announced that a judicial commission would be formed to probe the matter and subsequently wrote to the CJP about his request.
The slain journalist’s mother also wrote a letter to the CJP on November 2, requesting the formation of a high-powered judicial commission to investigate the murder.