Kenya puts an end to journalist murder probe collaboration with Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The government of Kenya has refused to assist Pakistani authorities in their investigation into the murder of investigative journalist Arshad Sharif, according to sources cited in a report in The News.

Pakistan had requested permission to open a new inquiry into the gruesome murder, but was told by Nairobi that the East African country had already provided all possible assistance to the investigators — Omar Shahid Hamid of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Dr Athar Waheed of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

The Kenyan report into the killing remains unpublished, but according to earlier reports it claimed that Sharif was killed in a “mistaken identity” case by members of the paramilitary General Service Unit. Pakistani authorities have repeatedly requested access to the report, but their requests have been refused.

This has led to frustration and tension between the two countries, with Pakistan citing a lack of cooperation from the Kenyan authorities.

A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, has ordered a new inquiry into the murder. The officials had cited a scathing report by Hamid and Waheed, which alleged a murder conspiracy leading up to Sharif’s assassination, potential complicity by Kenyan police, a clear case of murder plot cover-up, and a lack of will of the Kenyan authorities to investigate the case properly.

However, the Kenyan government has remained steadfast in its position that it has already provided all necessary assistance and that the apex court’s orders were Pakistan’s internal matter.

Sharif was shot dead by Kenyan police in October last year while returning to Nairobi from Kenya’s Magadi Town. The Kenyan police claimed they opened fire after the vehicle breached a blockade.

The head of a second investigation team, Awais Ahmed, has told the Supreme Court that the team found no solid evidence in Kenya and that the authorities of the foreign country did not provide access to evidence in the case.

Sharif’s family, friends, and media in Pakistan believe that the journalist was killed in a planned murder attack in Kenya.


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