ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court directed the additional attorney general of Pakistan (AAGP) to submit the names of the Special Joint Investigation Team (SJIT) members by today (Thursday).

A five-judge larger bench, headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail, and Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, on Wednesday, heard the suo moto of the brutal killing of journalist Arshad Sharif.

The chief justice said that the members should be competent and senior officers of the police and the agency. They should be capable of understanding the seriousness of the case and can drive the evidence from the foreign land. He said it is a brutal killing, a serious and a matter of public importance. “The primary evidence is in Kenya,” he added.

Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs Asad Majeed was asked to take help from the friendly countries and international agencies, including the United Nations, to assist in probing the murder of the veteran journalist. The chief justice asked Foreign Office should use its influence with the countries, which have close relations with Kenya. They (the FO) have to use diplomatic source in this case.

AAGP Amir Rehman submitted a copy of the FIR, which was registered at the Police Station, Ramna, Islamabad, a day ago (December 6, 2022). The chief justice accepted the reasons for nominating Khurram and Waqar in the FIR, saying that one of the brothers invited and arranged Kenya visa for the deceased journalist and he was staying with them and they took him to the shooting range. They were Arshad Sharif’s hosts in Kenya.

The AAGP said that the government has constituted the SJIT, which includes the officers from the police, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), the Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI), and the Intelligence Bureau (IB) will facilitate and support the work of the investigation officers.

The chief justice said that they want that the relevant and competent authority performs their job in accordance with the law. The bench told the AAGP that the investigation has to be done vigilantly as no eyewitness of the occurrence is available in the country.

The JIT members should be senior, independent, and competent officers, who establish the truth. The chief justice asked the lawyer of Arshad Sharif’s wife Javeria to provide her statement to the investigation team. The journalist Arshad Sharif’s mother Riffat Ara Alvi was also present during the hearing. She thanked the bench for taking suo moto on his son’s death.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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