As further details about slain journalist Arshad Sharif’s death emerge, members of the civil society including politicians and journalists have been demanding accountability and due investigation into the circumstances of his death.
Arshad Sharif was killed in Kenya by a gunshot fired into his head, it emerged early on Monday morning. The Kenyan police issued a statement claiming the journalist was shot by the police in a case of ‘mistaken identity’ after his driver failed to stop at a police checkpoint.
However, people are calling for a detailed investigation of the events leading to Sharif’s death, demanding that the Pakistani government and military establishment offer some accountability.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that he had requested Kenyan President to ensure a ‘fair and transparent’ investigation into Sharif’s death.
Just had a telephonic call with Kenyan President William Ruto about the tragic death of Arshad Sharif in 🇰🇪. I requested him to ensure fair & transparent investigation into shocking incident. He promised all-out help including fast-tracking the process of return of the body to 🇵🇰
— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) October 24, 2022
Journalist Mehreen Zahra-Malik said that given the fact that Arshad had sought exile to escape from the consequences of his journalism in Pakistan, it was the duty of the government and military to find out and explain what had happened to him.
Unbelievable news. Given that Arshad Sharif had fled #Pakistan due to fears of the consequences of his journalism, the government and military need to explain what exactly happened to him. He was a harsh critic, left the country and has ended up dead. We want answers. RIP 🤲🏽 https://t.co/EbJadv8j2W
— Mehreen Zahra-Malik (@mehreenzahra) October 24, 2022
Former MPA Bushra Gohar also tweeted out that she demands an independent investigation into the unfortunate event.
Very sorry to hear about #ArshadSharif’s alleged assassination in #Kenya. Heartfelt condolences to his family & friends. Demand an independent investigation. https://t.co/zvtATiTTkd
— Bushra Gohar (@BushraGohar) October 24, 2022
Haqooq-e-Khalq Movement chief Ammar Ali Jan also tweeted about the killing of Sharif and said that he hoped ‘every effort’ was made to investigate this incident.
So shocking and painful. Arshad Sharif's death will haunt us for a long time. Hope every effort is made to investigate this incident rather than following our terrible tradition of keeping such cases inconclusive. May Allah give patience to his family to bear this immense loss.
— Ammar Ali Jan (@ammaralijan) October 24, 2022
Journalist Ahmad Noorani also demanded an investigation of the two names allegedly repeatedly mentioned by Sharif.
PM @CMShehbaz shud come forward and announce requesting the @UN for conducting an international investigation into the murder of Arshad Sharif. Two persons, COAS Qamar Bajwa & Col Shafiq, repeatedly named by @Arsched shud be handed over to investigators for initial investigations
— Ahmad Noorani (@Ahmad_Noorani) October 24, 2022
Aaj News Chief Shahab Zuberi also asked the Kenyan police and the Pakistani agencies to provide a detailed investigation.
Arshad Sharif Ex Director News @Aaj_Urdu , my family friend deepest condolence to @javerias , Ary family & all his friends , I am in deep shock May his soul rest in peace we want detail investigation from @PoliceKE & Pakistan agencies pic.twitter.com/ej3o6z75SV
— Shahab Zuberi (@zuberishahab) October 24, 2022
Human rights activists Gulalai Ismail and Imaan Zainab Mazari-Hazir both asked for strict accountability.
What a homeopathic tweet from a sitting Prime Minister—calling a murder “death” won’t minimize the severity of crime against #ArshadSharif. Call for an investigation, involve international institutions, and give an action plan for the protection of journalists. https://t.co/p3CYOUdIM0
— Gulalai Ismail ګلالۍاسماعیل (@Gulalai_Ismail) October 24, 2022
Have no doubt that Arshad Sharif was murdered on the orders of the khaki thugs. Not the first journalist murdered abroad. No condemnation is enough. Murderers masquerading as "protectors" must be held accountable.
— Imaan Zainab Mazari-Hazir (@ImaanZHazir) October 24, 2022