Tuesday February 27, 2024

Arshad Sharif murder: Forming judicial commission at this stage of no use, says IHC

IHC CJ Athar Minallah says matter involves two different countries, asks that journalist groups be kept on board with inquiry

By Web Desk
October 25, 2022
Journalist and anchorperson Arshad Sharif. —Arshad Sharif/ Facebook
Journalist and anchorperson Arshad Sharif. —Arshad Sharif/ Facebook

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) rejected on Tuesday a request to form an immediate judicial commission to investigate the murder of senior journalist and anchorperson Arshad Sharif's death.

Sharif was shot dead by the Kenyan police on Sunday after he drove through their roadblock without stopping at the outskirts of Nairobi, according to a police report. 

The police said that the shooting was being treated as a case of mistaken identity. The killing of the journalist sparked outrage from officials, journalists and others across Pakistan. 

During the hearing today, lawyer Shoaib Razzaq — who is the petitioner — requested that a judicial commission be formed to probe the murder. At this, IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah said that forming a commission at this stage will not be beneficial. 

Justice Minallah said that this matter involves two different countries and state institutions can solve the case better. 

Justice Minallah asked if anyone has visited Arshad Sharif's family. To this, Razzaq said that the victim's body will reach Pakistan today. "The government had asked the UAE for the return of the body," he said.

The deputy-attorney general said the Government of Kenya will send a report and if Sharif's family will have an objection to it, then the case can be heard further. 

The court said that journalist organisations should be kept on board on the matter of inquiry. 

The court later adjourned the hearing for a week. 

US wants Kenya to conduct transparent probe

Earlier today, the United States stressed Kenya carry out a transparent investigation into the murder of the journalist. 

US State Department spokesperson Ned Price urged the Kenyan authorities to investigate the incident and condoled Sharif's death. 

“We encourage a full investigation by the Government of Kenya into his death. It’s not entirely clear that we know all the circumstances at this point regarding what led to his death, but we do urge a full investigation,” the spokesperson said while offering condolences to the aggrieved family and Pakistani journalists.