‘Arshad Sharif was shot in head’: Kenya Police reveals how Pak journalist killed
Arshad Sharif, 50, had been living in hiding in Kenya after leaving Pakistan to avoid arrest over criticising Pakistan's powerful military.
Arshad Sharif, a top Pakistani journalist living in hiding in Kenya since he was facing sedition charges, was shot dead on Sunday night. The journalist was reportedly a frequent critic of the Pakistani military establishment and supporter of former prime minister Imran Khan, who was ousted in a parliamentary no-confidence vote in April.
"I lost friend, husband and my favourite journalist today, as per police he was shot in Kenya," his wife Javeria Siddique tweeted.
Now, the Nairobi Police revealed how Sharif, 50, was killed.
According to the police on Monday, it was a case of “mistaken identity" during a search for a similar car involved in a case of child abduction.
The police said the car in which Sharif was travelling sped up instead of halting at a roadblock near Nairobi, news agency AP reported.
Sharif, 50, had been living in hiding in Kenya after leaving Pakistan to avoid arrest over criticising Pakistan's powerful military.
Sharif, the police said, was shot in the head and killed after the car he was travelling in with his brother, Khurram Ahmed, drove through a roadblock set up on the Nairobi-Magadi highway to check vehicles along the key route. They were travelling from the town of Magadi to the Kenyan capital.
According to the police version, the duo ignored the cops' orders to stop and sped up. “They did not stop and proceeded with the journey,” the police said. Police opened fire and laid chase, during which his car turned over.
News agency AFP reported that in August, Sharif had interviewed senior opposition politician Shahbaz Gill, who said that junior officers in the armed forces should not follow orders that went against "the will of the majority".
The comment led to the news channel being briefly taken off air and an arrest warrant being issued for Sharif, who left the country. The channel ARY later said it had "cut ties" with him.
Gill was detained following the interview - and ousted PM Imran Khan's criticism of the judiciary for the detention led to his own court appearances.
Sharif's whereabouts were not known; most of his friends knew only that he had spent time in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, and London.
Pakistani President Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, who is not related to the slain journalist, the country's military and other senior officials in Pakistan expressed their condolences.
On Monday, Khan's Tehreek-e-Insaf party and its senior leaders, including Fawad Chaudhry, condemned Sharif's killing and demanded a detailed investigation.
Pakistan is ranked 157 out of 180 countries in the world in a press freedom index compiled by Reporters without Borders.
(With inputs from AP, AFP)