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Pakistan

Arshad Sharif killing: SC directs JIT to submit progress report every two weeks

  • A five-member bench, comprising Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial resumes hearing the suo motu case
Published December 8, 2022
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The Supreme Court (SC) directed on Thursday the joint investigation team (JIT) formed this week to investigate the killing of senior journalist Arshad Sharif to give a progress update every two weeks, it was reported.

Additional Attorney General (AAG) Aamir Rehman presented the court the notification for the formation of the JIT, which includes Sajid Kiani (Intelligence Bureau), Waqar­uddin Syed (Federal Investigation Agency), Murtaza Afzal (Military Intelligence), Muhammad Aslam (Inter-Services Intelligence) and Awais Ahmed (Islamabad police).

Upon the top court asking how long it would take the JIT to conclude its investigation, the AAG said it would depend on Kenyan officials. The SC then directed the JIT to submit a progress report to the court every two weeks.

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 the hearing that began on Tuesday after the SC took suo moto notice of the incident.

SC orders formation of new JIT

On Wednesday, the top court had ordered the formation of a new JIT, after the one ordered by PM Shehbaz Sharif was discontinued.

Arshad Sharif murder case: Supreme Court orders formation of new 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.

Not a case of mistaken identity: probe team

In its report, a fact-finding team formed by the government said that Kenyan police’s claims of portraying the murder of Arshad as a case of “mistaken identity” was full of contradictions and the statements given by the General Service Unit (GSU) police police officials contradict themselves.

The report said: “Their (GSU police officials) version of events is not believable”, and concluded that his killing was a case of planned and targeted assassination by transnational characters and not a case of mistaken identity, as the Kenyan police earlier claimed.” The “transnational roles” of individuals from Kenya, Dubai, and Pakistan cannot be ruled out in the case, it further said.

Arshad Sharif’s murder not a case of mistaken identity: probe team

The report stated that Waqar – who sponsored and hosted the journalist – was connected to Kenya’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) and other international agencies and law enforcement.

Moreover, the fact-finding team stated that there were “compelling reasons for Sharif to leave Pakistan due to the criminal cases registered against him in different districts” of the country and that he was asked to leave the UAE by Emirati authorities.

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