Arshad Sharif’s death turns to an even bigger mystery as new details unfold

Kenyan journalists have raised questions about the killing of Pakistani journalist Arshad Sharif and brought new details to light. In a news story published by Nation Media Group, a senior investigative reporter said the occupant in Mr Sharif’s car shot at GSU officers, according to police claims. It quoted police as saying that the incident prompted police to shoot back.

READ ALSO: PAKISTAN MOURNS THE LOSS OF ITS TOP JOURNALIST, ARSHAD SHARIF, SHOT DEAD IN KENYA

The report noted contradictory versions of police that earlier claimed Mr Sharif and his brother defied orders at a checkpoint but later alleged Mr Sharif’s brother “shot at” one officer and injured him.

The publication also raised the question of why the police, who had their own vehicle at the roadblock, did not chase the Toyota Land Cruiser after its occupants allegedly shot at them.

Differing narratives:

On Twitter, Kenyan investigative journalist Brian Obuya said the fatal shot that killed Mr Sharif was “fired with precision through the rear mirror of the car”.

He said the vehicle Mr Sharif was travelling in was shot at nine times in total, with four bullets fired to the left and one deflating the right side tyre. Obuya also earlier said the body of the slain journalist was found at Kenya’s Chiromo Mortu­ary, which was 78km from where the police say the shooting happened.

Former Nairobi governor Mike Sonko, however, defended Kenyan police, saying they should not be blamed for Mr Sharif’s death. He claimed the police were ‘tricked’ into shooting the Pakistani national thinking he was involved in vehicle theft. He believed Mr Sharif was trailed by a “Pakistani killer squad” due to an investigation he was doing into a money laundering syndicate involving Pakistani politicians.

Driver’s involvement:

Meanwhile, many Pakistanis are speculating that the driver, Khurram Ahmed, could somehow be involved in Arshad’s death as he was left unscathed in the shoot out. It has also emerged that Arshad spent Sunday afternoon at [email protected], an entertainment complex that also has a shooting range, and which is popular among Pakistani gun enthusiasts. Khurram Ahmed, is the brother of the owner of the range, Waqar Ahmed.

Faisal Vawda’s presser:

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Faisal Vawda held an explosive press conference on Wednesday, wherein he not only claimed that senior anchorperson Arshad Sharif’s murder was pre-planned but also warned those allegedly planning to kill him of fatal retaliation.

Vawda claimed that Sharif was killed under a conspiracy hatched within the country, adding that even his mobile and laptop would not be found as all “evidence has been erased”.

He denied reports of 20 shots being fired at the journalist, claiming that he was killed inside his car.

He remarked that Sharif was not ready to leave the country. Rather, he was “threatened by conspiracies and expelled from here”.

He added that the government of Dubai did not expel him, and he stayed there as long as his visa allowed him to stay there. He further said that the anchorperson did not even go to London, as has been reported.

He remarked that a normal person could not have sent the journalist to Kenya. He raised questions about the circumstances, wondering “who hid him and who was in contact with him” there. He claimed that the alleged conspirators want to break the country and his party apart.

He also claimed that Sharif was in contact with the establishment and was ready to return to the country, before “fear was set in” and his murder was allegedly planned.

He added that the key players of this alleged conspiracy were present in the country and were “internationally connected”.

However, he vindicated the establishment of any blame, saying that they had no role in this as they had “positive contact” with the anchorperson and he himself was a part of this connection.

The 49-year-old journalist fled the country in August to avoid arrest after he was slapped with multiple cases, including sedition charges over an interview with PTI leader Shahbaz Gill during which the latter had made controversial comments.

Alleging threats to his life, Sharif had moved to Dubai in August and later relocated to Kenya.

Source: Dawn