After SC’s orders, case registered for Arshad Sharif’s murder

Govt forms high-powered JIT to probe the case

Hours after the Supreme Court of Pakistan had issued directives, the Ramna police on Tuesday afternoon registered a first information report for the murder of senior journalist and anchorperson Arshad Sharif.

The FIR, registered by the Inspector Mian Muhammad Shehbaz, named Khurram Ahmed, Waqar Ahmed, along with Afzal Ahmed, and Tariq Ahmed.

JIT formed

Later in the evening, the government formed a high-powered joint investigation team (JIT) to probe the matter as Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif assured the court of his full support in the case.

The JIT, sources said, will include DIG Headquarters of the Islamabad Capital Territory Police. Other members are likely to include SP investigations of the Islamabad Police along with Ramna police station SHO – where the FIR was registered – along with investigators from intelligence agencies.

Suo moto notice

Earlier on Tuesday, the apex court had taken suo moto notice and directed the federal government to register a case for the murder of senior journalist and anchorperson Arshad Sharif, and to complete the process today.

The directions came after the top court took suo moto notice of the journalist’s murder. The court had formed a five-member larger bench which heard the case on Tuesday.

The suo moto notice was been taken on the recommendation of Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Umar Ata Bandial.

The chief justice issued a notice to the foreign secretary, interior secretary and information minister secretary along with DG FIA, DG IB, and the president of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists.

“The journalist community in the country and the public at large are deeply distressed and concerned about the death of the senior journalist and are seeking the court’s scrutiny of the matter,” the apex court stated.

However, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has also asked to probe into Arshad Sharif’s murder.

Today’s court proceeding

At a hearing today, the chief justice asked Attorney General Amir Rehman about the report of the fact-finding committee as the Interior Ministry had to submit a report of the fact-finding committee last Friday.

He added that the court is yet to receive the report.

“Should we summon the interior minister? Where is the interior minister?” asked the CJP.

At this, the additional attorney general informed the court that the report will be submitted tomorrow.

The CJP stated that the medical report the court received were “unsatisfactory”, adding that every life must be considered important. He added that senior doctors prepared the medical report but it was not satisfactory.

“Mistreatment of journalists cannot be tolerated under any circumstances. In Pakistan, journalists are the voice of truth,” said Justice Bandial.

The CJP also added that the court was waiting for the report for more than 40 days, adding that the five-member bench was formed considering the seriousness of the situation.

However, Justice Mazahar Ali Naqvi and Justice Ahsan raised questions on the government’s approach in the case.

Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail remarked that it is a test case for the Foreign Ministry.

Meanwhile, CJP Bandial remarked that journalists are the source of information. He added that when he visited Kenya years ago he got to know about the big Pakistani community in the African nation.

“People have a lot of concerns related to the case. All facts in this regard must be brought to the people,” remarked the CJP.

The court directed the registration of the FIR of the murder by tonight and also directed the ministry to submit the fact-finding committee’s report today.

Later, the court adjourned the hearing till tomorrow.

Arshad Sharif murder case

Arshad Sharif was a senior journalist, who had been shot in the chest and head allegedly by police after he and his driver had driven through a police roadblock on a dirt road outside of the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.

The police had claimed that Sharif, along with his driver, was driving from Magadi Town to Nairobi when they were flagged down at the roadblock manned by five police officers.

But when Arshad Sharif’s driver did not stop and ran the blockade, police fired at the vehicle killing Arshad Sharif.

However, autopsy showed that Arshad Sharif was shot from far too close a range compared to what was being claimed by Kenyan police.

Subsequently, Kenyan Police said that the Independent Policing Oversight Authority would take over the case.

According to police deputed at the roadblock, they had received a tip-off to intercept a car similar to the one Sharif was traveling in following a carjacking incident in Pangani area of Nairobi and the possibility of a kidnapping.

And a few minutes later, Sharif’s car emerged at the roadblock and they were stopped and asked to identify themselves.

They allegedly failed to stop and drove past the roadblock.

This prompted a brief chase and shooting that left Sharif dead. Their car rolled and his driver was injured and taken to hospital.

He later told police he and his slain colleague were developers and were headed for a site in Magadi.

Supreme Court

Arshad Sharif

Arshad Sharif murder

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