Arshad Sharif’s body reaches Pakistan as commission formed to probe killing

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Hours after Arshad Sharif’s body was brought back to Pakistan, Ministry of Interior in a revised notification removed a representative of the Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) from the list of officials who are to travel to Kenya to probe the journalist’s killing.

In a revised notification, the ministry removed ISI Lt Col Saad Ahmed’s name hours after it had issued an earlier notification stating the names of three officials part of the high-profile team.

The two-member team includes Director/DIG Police, FIA Athar Waheed and Deputy Director General Intelligence Bureau Omar Shahid Hamid.

According to the notification, the team will leave for Kenya immediately and noted that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Pakistan’s High Commission in Nairobi will facilitate the team during the visit.

A day earlier, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced to form a high-level judicial commission to hold a “transparent” investigation into the killing of senior journalist Arshad Sharif.

The prime minister, in a video message from Saudi Arabia where he is visiting to attend Future Investment Initiative Summit, said the government would request the Islamabad High Court to designate a judge for the purpose.

The matter for the formation of a judicial commission would also be tabled before the federal cabinet for endorsement, he added.

The prime minister calling the murder of Arshad Sharif “highly condemnable” assured that the facts of the probe would be brought to the nation.

DG ISPR Babar Iftikhar asked for an investigation should be conducted into who forced Arshad Sharif to leave Pakistan stating that the institution was being targeted for no reason.

He said that a high-level investigation should be conducted into the tragic incident of the killing of senior journalist Arshad Sharif, while speculations and accusations are deplorable.

The DG ISPR went on to say that legal action should also be taken against those making false accusations, adding that the allegations are hurled against the institution for no reason and who is trying to take advantage of the unfortunate incident.

Lt Gen Babar Iftikhar further said we have requested an investigation from the government of Pakistan and action should be taken against those levelling allegations. “Arshad Sharif was a professional journalist and he also reported during Zarb-e-Azb,” he added.

The slain journalist’s body was brought back to Pakistan late Tuesday night where he received a hero’s welcome.

The journalist community along with PTI activists and common citizens had come out to express their solidarity as his body reached the Islamabad International Airport from Kenya, two days after he was shot dead in Kenya.

The journalist had fled Pakistan after he was nominated in multiple cases including sedition charges against him. The journalist was made to move to Dubai and was later forced to flee to Kenya.

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