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Pakistani Journalist Killed In Kenya Was Targeted, Pakistani Minister Says

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Pakistani Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah has said journalist Arshad Sharif was killed in a “targeted attack”, stating that no evidence was found to support the narrative that he was shot dead in a case of “mistaken identity”.

Sharif was shot on the night of October 23 in Magadi by General Service Unit (GSU) in what police said was a case of mistaken identity.

The Minister, while speaking in Islamabad said: “Prima facie, it is a targeted murder as the narrative of ‘mistaken identity’ has not been proven, and there are many doubts.”

He added that the shots were fired at Sharif’s car in a “very technical manner”., adding that the driver was aware of the plan. Sharif, 50, was driving from Magadi to Nairobi accompanied by Khurram Ahmed at around 10pm when officers who claim that they had been alerted of a case of child abduction were on a night operation shot at their car when they failed to stop at a makeshift roadblock.

“In my view, the shooters knew who Arshad Sharif was and where he was sitting in the vehicle. The driver also knew what was about to happen where,” Sanaullah said.

According to the minister, the Kenyan authorities were yet to return the deceased’s belongings that were recovered from the scene.

Following Sharif mother’s request to the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) to set up a judicial commission comprising senior Supreme Court judges to determine the real motive and identify criminals behind the killing, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has written a letter to the CJP requesting him to constitute a judicial commission to probe the killing.

Among the issues to be established are what procedure Sharif adopted to travel abroad in August; who facilitated his departure abroad; whether any federal or provincial agency, institution, or administration was aware of the threats to his life; and what measures were taken to protect him if indeed he was threatened.

Also to be established are the circumstances that led him to come to Kenya from UAE; the “real truth” behind the shooting of the journalist and whether his death was a case of mistaken identity or as a result of a criminal game.

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