The Government of Pakistan on Wednesday constituted a two-member team to probe the killing of journalist Arshad Sharif and submit a preliminary report to the Interior Ministry.
A day earlier, the government had announced the formation of a three-member team comprising representatives of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA); the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI); and the Intelligence Bureau (IB). However, on Wednesday, a new notification was issued saying it would be a two-member team after removing the participation of the ISI. The new team, per the notification, comprises FIA Director Athar Waheed and IB’s Deputy Director General Omar Shahid Hamid.
The notification states that the two-member team would leave for Kenya immediately and submit a preliminary report to the ministry. Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, talking to media, said the team would examine the reasons and motives behind Sharif’s departure from Pakistan to Dubai and subsequently from Dubai to Kenya.
According to the government, the two-member team’s investigation will be apart from a judicial commission announced by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. That commission would be led by a high court judge and has yet to be formed.
Meanwhile, according to Kenyan daily The Star, the police officers linked to the killing of Sharif have surrendered their weapons, with one of them alleging that they had been fired on by the journalist’s vehicle before they targeted him. It said the police had decided to investigate the potential presence of a third shooter, adding that the owners of the Ammodump Kwenia Shooting Range, where Sharif was before he was killed, would also be questioned.
According to the daily, no weapons were found in the vehicle that Sharif had been traveling in.
Journalist Sharif, 50, was shot dead by Kenyan police in a case of what they have described as “mistaken identity” while traveling to Nairobi from Magadi. While police have accepted responsibility, questions persist over why he was in Kenya; the circumstances behind his killing; and rumors—propagated primarily by the PTI—that he was slain in a “target killing” due to his criticism of the incumbent government and Pakistan’s security establishment.