ISI official dropped from team constituted to probe Arshad Sharif's killing

The Ministry of Interior on Wednesday removed a representative of the Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) from the list of officials who will be part of the team that will ascertain facts in the killing of journalist Arshad Sharif from the Kenyan Police and relevant authorities.

In a revised notification, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune, the ministry removed ISI Lt Col Saad Ahmed’s name hours after it had issued an earlier notification stating the names of three officials part of the high-profile team.

The two-member team includes Director/DIG Police, FIA Athar Waheed and Deputy Director General Intelligence Bureau Omar Shahid Hamid.

According to the notification, the team will leave for Kenya immediately and noted that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Pakistan’s High Commission in Nairobi will facilitate the team during the visit.

It furthered that the team will submit the report to the Interior Division.

The move comes just a day after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced that a judicial commission will investigate the killing of the renowned journalist.

In a statement followed by video statements of the prime minister from Saudi Arabia, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said that the premier had decided to conduct a “transparent inquiry” into the grisly incident.

Arshad Sharif, a strong supporter of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan, was shot dead in Kenya on October 23.

Read Slain journalist Arshad Sharif’s body arrives in Islamabad

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.

Following the prime minister’s statement, the General Headquarters (GHQ) of the Pakistan Army wrote to the government to form an inquiry commission for the investigation into the death of the journalist.

The chief military spokesperson told the media that the military had also requested the government to set up a high-level commission to investigate Sharif’s killing and take legal action against those hurling allegations without any proof.

The murder

Sharif, who fled the country after he was charged with sedition, died in Kenya's Nairobi after reportedly being shot.

According to the Kenyan police, the journalist was fatally wounded while travelling in a car along with his brother Khurram Ahmed in the Magadi area, 40 kilometres from the capital Nairobi.

Kenyan national police spokesman Bruno Shioso 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.

Also Read Twitter outraged at Maryam Nawaz's vile, vengeful tweet on Arshad Sharif's murder

According to a police report seen by AFP, the car carrying the two men was struck by around nine bullets, but continued on to the home of another Pakistani national. There, Sharif was found to be dead “with a gunshot wound on the head which had penetrated from the back”.

The report said that the police at the time had been on the lookout for a stolen car and an abducted person and had set up a makeshift roadblock. Earlier this month, the Kenyan president had vowed to disband a police unit accused of extrajudicial killings.

The 49-year-old journalist 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.

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