The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Tuesday took suo moto notice of renowned journalist Arshad Sharif’s killing in Kenya.
A five-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial would conduct hearing today. Notices were issued to the interior secretary, foreign affairs secretary, information and broadcasting secretary, Federal Investigation Agency director general (DG), Intelligence Bureau DG and Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists president.
The apex court said the journalist community in the country and the public at large are deeply distressed and are concerned about the death of the senior journalist and are seeking the court’s scrutiny of the matter.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif have penned separate letters to the CJP asking him to conduct an independent judicial inquiry into the killing of the journalist.
Arshad Sharif was allegedly killed by Kenyan police after he and his driver had driven through a police checkpoint in outskirts of Nairobi.
PM vows to promote principles of freedom of expression, free media
However, autopsy showed that Arshad Sharif was shot from far too close a range compared to what was being claimed by Kenyan police.
Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah also said journalist Arshad Sharif was killed in a “targeted attack”, stating that no evidence was found to support the narrative that he was shot dead in a case of “mistaken identity”.
“Prima facie, it is a targeted murder as the narrative of ‘mistaken identity’ has not been proven […] and there are many doubts,” he said, adding that further information would only emerge after a detailed investigation was conducted.