Tuesday Nov 08, 2022
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Tuesday penned a letter to Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial seeking the formation of a judicial commission to probe the death of slain journalist Arshad Sharif — who lost his life at the hands of Kenyan Police in what was described as a “mistaken identity” case in October.
The prime minister asked the chief justice to form a commission comprising all the justices of the Supreme Court as the commission was important to uphold the law in the country.
Civil society members, journalists, politicians, and people from all walks of life condemned the killing of Sharif and demanded the government ascertain the cause behind his untimely death.
He suggested the CJP focus on five questions — through which procedure did Arshad Sharif go abroad in August 2022? Who facilitated Sharif's departure abroad? Was any federal or provincial agency aware of any threat to Sharif? Was any organisation or administration aware of any threat to Sharif? If Sharif's life was in danger, what steps were taken to save him? What were the circumstances, and reasons under Sharif went to Kenya from UAE? What is the truth behind the shooting incident in which Sharif died?
The prime minister also assured the CJP that the federal government would provide full support to the commission and that the government was already probing the incident through its resources.
“After the unfortunate incident, we sent a team comprising experienced officers to Kenya. The federal government had formed a commission which included a retired judge of the Lahore High Court.”
PM Shehbaz said it is important to probe Sharif's contacts before his departure from Pakistan. He added that Sharif’s mother had also asked him to form a commission and the government fully backs her demand.
“After the death of Sharif, suspicions were raised about the federal government and state institutions. Supreme Court Commission must be formed to restore public trust. If an impartial body does not investigate, there is a risk of damage on a long-term basis,” the prime minister stressed.