Arshad Sharif murder: Investigating team records statement of key witnesses

A two-member team formed to investigate and ascertain the facts of senior journalist Arshad Sharif’s killing on Sunday recorded the statements of two brothers who provided accommodation and other facilities to the slain journalist in Kenya.

The team, comprising Director FIA Athar Wahid and Deputy Director IB Umar Shahid Hamid, formally began the investigation today and interrogated Waqar Ahmed and Khurram Ahmed – key witnesses in the murder.

According to sources, Waqar, in his statement, told the team that Arshad was staying at his guest house for the past two months and a friend had asked him to host the senior journalist.

Waqar said that he had met Arshad only once before during a dinner at a lodge outside Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.

Read more: Team formed to probe Arshad Sharif’s killing leaves for Kenya

On the day of the incident, he said Arshad had dinner with them at the lodge and after having the meal, the journalist left with his brother and soon they received the news about his shooting.

Khurram, in his statement, told the team that there is a dirt road for 18 kilometres only then does a proper road start, adding that they saw a few stones lying on the road and as soon as they crossed them, someone started shooting at their vehicle.

Khurram said that when the firing began, he started panicking and hit the accelerator. He revealed that the Kenyan officials had taken possession of Arshad Sharif's mobile phone and iPad.

Meanwhile, FIA was contacted for comment but it was not provided.

The murder

The 49-year-old journalist had fled the country in August to avoid arrest after he was slapped with multiple cases, including sedition charges over an interview with PTI leader Shahbaz Gill during which the latter had made controversial comments.

Alleging threats to his life, Sharif had moved to Dubai in August and later relocated to Kenya where he had died after reportedly being shot.

Kenyan national police spokesman Bruno Shioso had said the journalist was shot dead by an officer after his car drove through a police barrier. “It is then that they were shot at, fatally injuring late Arshad Mohammed Sharif,” he said.

The death of the journalist sent shock waves across rights organisations, the media fraternity and civil society and prompted calls for thorough investigation and disclosure of facts.

Several local and international journalists, including Kenyan media persons, and relevant personalities have raised questions about the Kenyan police's claims surrounding the killing.

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