Tuesday December 05, 2023

Karachi Kings CEO Tariq Wasi asked me to invite Arshad Sharif to Kenya: Waqar

Arshad Sharif's host in Kenya Waqar Ahmed said Karachi Kings CEO Tariq Wasi asked him to sponsor Arshad Sharif’s visit to Kenya.

November 04, 2022

Arshad Sharif. Twitter
Arshad Sharif. Twitter 

BUSINESSMAN Waqar Ahmed has told investigators that Karachi Kings CEO Tariq Wasi asked him to sponsor Arshad Sharif’s visit to Kenya.

Geo News has learnt that the revelation came when Pakistani investigators — FIA director Athar Wahid and Intelligence Bureau (IB) deputy director general Omar Shahid Hamid — met Waqar Ahmed and his brother Khurram Ahmed, who were driving the car when Arshad Sharif was hit by bullets. Waqar Ahmed told the investigators that Tariq Wasi had not only asked him to arrange a sponsorship letter for Arshad Sharif from Dubai to Kenya but also asked him to host him throughout his stay in Kenya and facilitate him in every possible way.

Waqar Ahmed has told the probe team that Tariq Wasi stayed in touch with him regularly and asked about Arshad Sharif’s welfare, including his routine, a source told Geo News here. “I arranged for Arshad Sharif’s stay at my penthouse on the request of Tariq Wasi,” Waqar Ahmed told investigators at his flat. “Tariq Wasi, the CEO of Karachi Kings, called me and asked me to prepare sponsorship for Arshad Sharif at all costs, and I did that to please him,” said Waqar Ahmed, adding that he had no interest in inviting Arshad to Kenya otherwise. He, however, confirmed that he had once met Arshad Sharif before inviting him to Kenya.

Waqar Ahmed told the investigators that he called Tariq Wasi immediately after Arshad Sharif was shot dead. He said that after he had called Tariq Wasi, ARY owner Salman Iqbal called him and asked about Arshad Sharif and his tragic death. Geo News sent questions to Tariq Wasi, but he didn’t reply.

In a world exclusive, Geo News revealed on Wednesday that slain journalist Arshad Sharif’s visit visa to Kenya was sponsored, but he didn’t get the entry visa on arrival. Geo News revealed that the sponsor letter for Arshad Sharif to visit Kenya was sent by Nairobi-based property developer Waqar Ahmed, the brother of Khurram Ahmed, who was driving Arshad Sharif on the fateful night of Oct 23, 2022, when Arshad Sharif died in a hail of bullets rained on him by the Kenyan police in a deserted area.

It was claimed that Arshad Sharif was forced out of Dubai and chose Kenya because Kenya was among the countries that offered visas on arrival to Pakistani nationals. While there is little doubt that Arshad Sharif faced threats to his life over his critical views and left Pakistan at the start of August this year in a hurry from Peshawar to Dubai, immigration authorities here shared that Kenya no longer offers on-arrival entry to Pakistani passport holders, and the record showed that Arshad Sharif reached the African country on a sponsored visit visa.

A source told Geo News on Wednesday “Arshad Sharif’s visa was sponsored.” He reached Nairobi on a visit visa. He applied for an e-visa to enter the country and attached a sponsor letter with his application, as well as a copy of the return ticket, his employment contract, his place of residence, and a local contact number.

A Pakistani diplomat here also told Geo News that the Kenyan immigration ministry has confirmed to Pakistan that Arshad Sharif was on a visit visa in Kenya and was staying here legally. Those carrying American and British passports also have to obtain a visa to enter the country. A Kenyan immigration official shared that on-arrival visas are issued only in exceptional circumstances, and this didn’t apply in Sharif’s case as he entered the country without any issue.

The two brothers told the Pakistani investigation officers that the slain journalist was planning to move to Nairobi, and for that reason, he extended his visa too. A source here shared that it was true that Arshad Sharif’s initial visa was for one month, and then he extended it. He arrived in the Kenyan capital on the 20th of August and died on the 23rd of October in a shootout in which Khurram Ahmad miraculously survived.