- PTI Chairman says he told the late journalist to go abroad in view of the risk to his life
Former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan Tuesday claimed that the death of journalist Arshad Sharif was an incident of “target killing,” Aaj News reported.
Addressing the lawyer’s convention in Peshawar, Imran said that he had advised the journalist to leave the country in view of the risk to his life.
Arshad Sharif was shot dead by police in Kenya on Sunday night, prompting calls for a full probe into what one media rights group branded an “utterly disturbing murder”.
In a phone call with Kenyan President William Ruto, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif called for a transparent investigation into the murder.
Kenyan national police spokesman Bruno Shioso said the journalist was fatally wounded by an officer after his car drove through a police barrier in the Magadi area, 40 kilometres (25 miles) from the capital Nairobi.
“It is then that they were shot at, fatally injuring late Arshad Mohammed Sharif,” he said in a statement, adding that the journalist was travelling with a man described as his “brother” Khurram Ahmed.
“National Police Service regrets this unfortunate incident,” he said. The killing triggered concern among media groups and a protest in the Pakistani city of Karachi.
In his address today, the PTI chief claimed that journalists were tortured after arrest and forced to flee the country. “I received the information that he [Arshad Sharif] will be murdered,” Imran said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif decided to form a judicial commission to conduct a probe into the death of Sharif in Kenya.
The commission will be headed by a high court judge, Federal Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb announced on Tuesday. She said that the judicial panel can also seek assistance from civil society and the media.
Earlier in the day, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) directed the government to keep journalism institutions on board while it investigates the death.
During the hearing, petitioner Shoaib Razzaq pleaded to the court that a judicial commission must be formed to probe the death of Arshad. However, IHC Chief Justice Athar said that the formation of the commission at this stage would not serve any purpose.
“Once the report from the Kenyan government is received and if the petitioner raises any objections to it, we will listen to his concerns,” Deputy Attorney General Syed Ahsan Raza Shah said.