Prominent Pakistani journalist shot dead in Kenya

Arshad Sharif
Arshad Sharif

An investigation has begun in Kenya after well-known Pakistani journalist Arshad Sharif was shot dead by police at a roadblock on Sunday.

He was “fatally wounded” while he was a passenger in a moving vehicle after it failed to stop, according to a police statement.

Mr Sharif was a critic of Pakistan’s military as well as a vocal supporter of ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The 49-year-old had left Pakistan in August after complaining of harassment.

He had previously been in the UK and Dubai before travelling to Kenya. It is not known exactly what he was doing in the East African country.

Journalists in the Pakistani city of Karachi held a street protest over his killing on Monday.

Kenya’s police watchdog – the Independent Police Oversight Authority (Ipoa) said it had sent its rapid response team to the site of Sunday evening’s shooting in Kajiado county near the capital, Nairobi.

The team will be investigating the “alleged police killing of a Pakistani national”, Ipoa chairperson Ann Makori told journalists.

Officers had set up the roadblock as they were looking for a stolen car. “[The] deceased’s motor vehicle came upon the police barrier which they drove through. It is then that they were shot at,” the statement added.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif (no relation) tweeted that he was “deeply saddened by the shocking news of journalist Arshad Sharif’s tragic death”.

He later said that he had spoken to Kenya’s President William Ruto requesting a “fair and transparent investigation… He promised all-out help including fast-tracking the process of return of the body to Pakistan.”

Pakistan’s Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb warned people against speculating about the circumstances surrounding the death.

In a brief message on Twitter, Sharif’s wife Javeria Siddique said she had lost a “friend, husband and my favourite journalist”.

Calling for a “proper judicial investigation”, former Prime Minister Imran Khan said he was “shocked” at what he described as a “murder”, adding that he “paid the ultimate price for speaking the truth”.

Mr Khan was removed from power in April after losing a vote of no confidence. Sharif, who had backed Mr Khan, then started complaining that the country’s Federal Investigation Agency was harassing him and he left the country.

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