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ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office said Monday that Pakistan has also formally requested the Kenyan government to hold an investigation into the killing of a senior journalist, Arshad Sharif, besides urging for early repatriation of his mortal remains.

In a statement, Foreign Office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar said that the government of Pakistan is actively engaged with the Kenyan authorities at multiple levels for speedy repatriation of the mortal remains of Arshad Sharif, a senior journalist shot dead in Kenya on Sunday night.

He said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has spoken to President of Kenya William Ruto to request early completion of formalities and repatriation of the mortal remains. “The Kenyan President conveyed deepest condolences on the tragic incident, and assured complete investigations and repatriation of the body at the earliest,” he added.

The spokesperson added that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Pakistan High Commission in Nairobi remain in constant contact to facilitate and expedite the process. “Pakistan has also formally requested the Kenyan government to hold an investigation into the incident,” he added.

Acting Foreign Secretary Raza Bashir Tarar has also met the Kenyan High Commissioner in Islamabad to impress upon the importance of the matter and urgent repatriation of the mortal remains. He added that the acting foreign secretary also briefed the members of the National Assembly Foreign Relations Committee on the developments.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is deeply saddened at the untimely death of prominent journalist and anchorperson Arshad Sharif in Kenya. We convey our sincere condolences to the bereaved family,” he added.

He said that Pakistan’s High Commissioner in Kenya received initial information about the death of Arshad Sharif early in the morning of 24 October. The High Commissioner accordingly contacted the police authorities, and senior officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other departments, he said, adding that the office of the Vice President was also contacted for confirmation.

He said that Pakistanis of Kenyan origin were also mobilized and the Mission was informed that the body was in Chiromo Funeral House in Nairobi.

He said that the High Commissioner along with Mission’s officers reached the location, and has identified the body of Arshad Sharif.

He further stated that the Acting Foreign Secretary has visited the family of Arshad Sharif and conveyed confirmation of the sad news, and heartfelt condolences on behalf of the Foreign Minister and the Minister of State. “His family has been assured of all possible assistance by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” he said, adding that further procedures including police report are awaited.

The spokesperson added that the High Commission will facilitate expeditious repatriation of mortal remains of Arshad Sharif in coordination with the host authorities.

Meanwhile, a statement released by the National Police Service of Kenya confirmed that the incident occurred Sunday night along the Kwenia farm/ Kamukuru Marram road within Magadi, where “a foreigner namely Arshad Mohammed Shariff, a Pakistani national aged 50 years was fatally wounded by a police officer while a passenger in a motor vehicle KDG 200M.”

“At the time of the incident, deceased was in company of his brother namely 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 said.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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