Senior journalist Arshad Sharif shot dead in 'mistaken identity' case: Kenyan media

Sharif's body identified in Nairobi morgue, repatriation procedure underway, says Marriyum Aurangzeb

Web Desk
Journalist Arshad Sharif. —Arshad Sharif/ Facebook
Journalist Arshad Sharif. —Arshad Sharif/ Facebook

  • Arshad Sharif was killed by police after he and his driver allegedly breached a roadblock.
  • Wife confirms Sharif killed in police shooting.
  • IHC directs officials from interior, foreign ministries to meet journalist’s family.

Senior journalist and anchorperson Arshad Sharif was shot dead by the Kenyan police Sunday night in a “mistaken identity” case while he was travelling to Nairobi from the country’s Magadi town.

In this regard, the Chairperson of the Independent Policing Oversight Authority, Kenya, Anne Makori held a press conference on Monday and confirmed that on the evening of October 23, a Pakistani journalist, named Arshad Muhammad Sharif, 50, was shot by the Kenyan police within the limits of Kajiado County.

"There's an alleged police killing of a Pakistani national at Tinga market, Kajiado county, last evening. Our rapid response team has already been dispatched," she said, adding that a probe related to the incident is underway and that the Independent Policing Oversight Authority will carry out a transparent investigation into the killing of Sharif. 

Kenyan police releases details of tragic incident 

A press statement was also released by the Office of the Inspector-General National Police Service in Nairobi, Kenya, in which details related to the incident were provided. 

"NPS regrets to announce an incident last night along Kwenia farm/ Kamukuru maram road with Magadi, Kajiado, where a foreign national namely Arshad Muhammad Sharif, aged 50, was fatally wounded by a police officer while a passenger in a motor vehicle KDG 200M. At the time of the incident, the deceased was in the 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," the statement added.

"Deceased's motor vehicle came upon the police barrier which they drove through. It is then they were shot at, fatally injuring late Arshad Muhammad Sharif."

"National Police Service regrets this unfortunate incident. Competent authorities are currently investigating the incident for appropriate action. The Ag. inspector-General on behalf of the Service condoles with the family and friends of the deceased."

Wife asks for respecting family's privacy

On Monday morning, Sharif’s wife Javeria Siddiqui took to Twitter and confirmed the news of his demise, acknowledging that her husband was shot in Kenya. She also asked people to respect the privacy of the family and refrain from sharing the family pictures on social and other media.

Before the confirmation from his wife, reports were doing rounds that Sharif had died in an accident.

Sharif was previously associated with ARY News and had gone to Dubai after resigning from the channel. Before going to Kenya, he was spotted in London a few days back after arriving from Dubai. 

IHC issues notice to interior, foreign ministries

Earlier today, a petition was filed in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) for the formation of a panel to ascertain the facts behind Sharif's death.

Petitioner Barrister Shoaib Razzaq sought the formation of a commission to determine under which circumstances Sharif had fled the country. He also urged the court to issue orders to bring the body of the journalist back to Pakistan.

During the hearing, IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah asked the petitioner where the body of the journalist was currently. At this, the judge was told by the lawyer that it was in Nairobi, Kenya.

Following this, the judge issued notices to the interior and foreign secretaries. He also ordered officials from both ministries to meet the journalist’s family and submit a report by tomorrow.

Imran Khan demands judicial inquiry

In his condolence message to the aggrieved family, PTI Chairman Imran Khan said he was shocked at the brutal murder of Arshad Sharif who paid the ultimate price for speaking the truth.

“He [Arshad Sharif] had to leave the country and be in hiding abroad but he continued to speak the truth on social media, exposing the powerful. Today the entire nation mourns his death.”

The former premier said that a proper judicial investigation must be instituted to examine his own statements plus evidence that other sources have.

“We have descended into a state of brutality, unknown in civilised society, indulged in by the powerful against those who dare to criticise and expose wrongdoings.”

Condolences pour in

Following the news of Sharif's death, condolences started pouring in from across the country.

President Arif Alvi termed Sharif's death a "great loss to journalism and Pakistan".

"May his soul rest in peace and may his family, which includes his followers, have the strength to bear this loss," tweeted the president.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed sadness over the "shocking news of journalist Arshad Sharif's tragic death". 

"May Allah SWT grant him a place in Heaven. My deep condolences and prayers for the bereaved family," he said.

Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the military’s media wing, said they are deeply aggrieved over the unexpected death of senior journalist Arshad Sharif. “May Allah elevate him to higher heavenly status,” the military said.

The Association of Electronic Media Editors and News Directors (AEMEND) condemned Sharif’s shocking death in a ‘mishandled police shooting’ in Kenya as unimaginably deplorable. “We sadly regret Sharif’s murder and wish his family the courage needed to cope with such an irreparable loss,” Aemend said in a statement adding, “The whole media community is standing by Sharif’s family in this trying time”.

Aemend officials demanded the government ensure a thorough as well as a transparent investigation into Sharif’s brutal killing. “We also urge the government to make the best possible arrangements to bring the remains of the senior journalist back to his homeland and keep the family of the deceased posted on the developments made,” the journalists' body said in the statement.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan also demanded a transparent inquiry into the circumstances of the journalist's death.

"Absolutely shocked", wrote Asad Umar.

Journalist Shahzeb Khanzada also expressed sadness over Sharif's death.