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Wednesday July 17, 2024

SC delists Arshad Sharif murder case

By Sohail Khan
March 10, 2023

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has delisted the suo motu case regarding journalist Arshad Sharif’s murder, scheduled for hearing on March 10 (today), due to unavailability of one of the bench members.

Law officers, advocate generals and prosecutor generals were intimated that the instant suo moto case fixed in the supplementary cause list on March 10, 2023, before a five-member bench has been delisted due to unavailability of one of the bench members, stated the notification issued by the SC registrar.

Earlier, the case was fixed for hearing today at 11:15 am before the five-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsen, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel and Justice Mazahir Ali Akbar Naqvi.

The court had issued notices to the attorney general of Pakistan, secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs, secretary Ministry of Interior, secretary Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, director general Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), director general Intelligence Bureau (IB) and inspector general of police, Islamabad.

In pursuance of the court’s direction, the Special Joint Investigation Team (SJIT) probing the murder of journalist Arshad Sharif submitted its 15-day progress report a day before in the Supreme Court in a sealed envelope.

During the last hearing, Additional Attorney General Aamir Rehman had informed the court that the Special Joint Investigation Team (SJIT) could not get any tangible evidence as the Kenyan authorities did not give the probing team an access to the crime scene nor did it allow the team to investigate any individual.

Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial had observed that no one could be accused of murder as yet. Justice Ijazul Ahsen had observed that in order to advance the investigation, the United Nations should be involved in the matter.

However, the additional attorney general (AAG) had submitted that the time to seek help from the United Nations had not yet come.

The CJP had observed that Arshad Sharif was an international reputed journalist and asked the SJIT’s head to seek help from local as well as foreign journalists, including Kenyan journalists.

He had further observed that Pakistan’s Embassy in Kenya should also seek help and cooperation from journalists and legal fraternity in Nairobi.

Justice Ijazul Ahsen, another member of the bench, had observed that that there were three dimensions of murder of Arshad Sharif, as to who forced the slain journalist to leave the country, if an inquiry was initiated against those who had lodged cases against Arshad Sharif across the country and as to what was shown to him that forced him to go abroad.

“When all these channels are connected, it can easily be found out as to who wanted to get rid of him,” remarked Justice Ijazul Ahsen. At that, the AAG had submitted that nothing could be said about who were behind the cases lodged against Arshad Sharif across the country.