Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb on Monday announced that the body of journalist Arshad Sharif has been dispatched to Pakistan and should arrive in Islamabad by Wednesday morning after a stopover in Qatar.
Addressing media, she said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had called Kenyan President William Ruto to expedite legal processes for the repatriation of the journalist’s body. Stressing that Pakistani High Commissioner Saqlain Syeda had personally overseen the flight arrangements for Sharif’s body, she said the diplomat had stayed at the Nairobi airport for several hours until the body had been dispatched to Pakistan.
According to the information minister, Sharif’s postmortem was completed in Nairobi prior to his body being returned to Pakistan. Earlier, in a statement, the Foreign Office said the Government of Pakistan had also officially asked the Kenyan government to launch an investigation into the incident to fix responsibility on the people response.
A statement issued by the National Police Service of Kenya has maintained that Sharif was shot dead by police in a case of “mistaken identity.” It said the incident had occurred on Sunday night, adding that the journalist had been fatally wounded by a police officer while in the company of his “brother” Khurram Ahmed. “Incident follows a circulation from Pangani Police of a stolen motor vehicle. The officers trailing the motor vehicle towards Magadi alerted police in Magadi who erected a road barrier,” it added.
Chief Justice Athar Minallah of the Islamabad High Court (IHC), during a hearing on Tuesday, directed the government to keep journalist bodies apprised of any developments into its investigation of Sharif’s killing in Kenya. A day earlier, a petition had been filed seeking the formation of a judicial commission to investigate why Sharif was forced to flee Pakistan, and later the U.A.E., and how he had died.
During Monday’s hearing, the CJ had directed government officials to visit the aggrieved family and offer any legal assistance they might require. Receiving an update on these directions, he said the formation of a judicial commission at this stage would not prove beneficial as an investigation into the incident was ongoing. He then adjourned the hearing for a week.