- SC says JIT should include officials from ISI and FIA
The Supreme Court (SC) ordered on Wednesday the formation of a new joint investigation team (JIT) in a case pertaining to the killing of journalist Arshad Sharif.
A five-member bench – comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Jamal Mandokhel, Justice Syed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi and Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar – presided over a hearing that began on Tuesday after the SC took suo moto notice of the incident.
After the hearing resumed on Wednesday, the bench directed concerned authorities to include intelligence officials in the JIT.
"The JIT should include officials from the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the Intelligence Bureau (IB), the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the police," said Justice Bandial.
The SC also directed the government to issue a notification in this regard.
Earlier in October, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had constituted a JIT to investigate the killing, but this was discontinued.
Meanwhile on Wednesday, a copy of a 592-page report compiled by a fact-finding committee formed by the government was submitted in court. It was signed by FIA Director Muhammad Athar Waheed and Intelligence Bureau Deputy Director General Omar Shahid Hamid.
An FIR registered on Tuesday of the journalist’s killing was also presented.
Arshad's mother and his widow, Javeria Siddique, as well as the FIA director general, the information secretary and the Islamabad police chief were present at the hearing.
Taking the stand, Arshad's mother thanked the CJP for taking suo motu notice of her son’s killing.
“There is no need for thanks. The court is carrying out its duty,” the CJP replied.
The hearing of the case has been adjourned till tomorrow (Thursday).
On October 23, Arshad died in Kenya after being shot. Over a month later, on December 6, the CJP took suo motu notice of the journalist's killing.
“The journalist community in the country and the public at large are deeply distressed and are concerned about the death of the senior journalist and are seeking the court’s scrutiny of the matter," the SC said in a statement.
During the hearing on Tuesday, the bench had ordered to register an FIR in the case by Tuesday, and adjourned the hearing till Wednesday (today).
Following the top court's order, an FIR was registered in which three accused Waqar Ahmed, Khurram Ahmed, and Tariq Ahmed Wasi were nominated.