Thu, 28 Sep 2023

Paris [France], November 9 (ANI): Expressing doubts about the impartiality of the Pakistani investigators and contradictory Kenyan police statements, Paris-based media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has called for a UN probe into Sharif's murder.

"The information currently emerging from the Kenyan wing of the investigation is contradictory, and all independent attempts to get information are met with a wall of silence," said Sadibou Marong, the director of RSF's sub-Saharan Africa bureau. "If the Kenyan authorities want to shed light on this murder, they must ensure that the investigation is not cloaked in imprecision, and that it is independent and impartial.""Why was Arshad Sharif in Kenya and, above all, why did he have to flee his country - these are the questions behind his murder," said Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF's Asia-Pacific desk.

"The potential conflicts of interest are such on both the Kenyan and Pakistani sides that we are calling on the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, Morris Tidball-Binz, to launch an investigation with an independent international team to shed all possible light on this shocking case."Sharif was killed by two shots fired at close range. This is one of the few hard facts to have emerged in the two weeks since his murder in a Nairobi suburb on the night of October 23. The information comes from a Kenyan autopsy report published on November 4.

It says that one of the bullets entered his back and exited via his chest and that the other bullet lodged in his head.

Kenya Union of Journalists president Eric Oduor told RSF that a transparent investigation was required by journalists worldwide. "But the government has not reported any progress in the investigations into the killing of Arshad Sharif. And we keep on demanding that the investigations are fast-tracked to bring the killers to book."Many questions have meanwhile been raised about Pakistan's handling of the case, starting with the composition of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) that the government appointed on October 25 to investigate the murder.

According to the French media watchdog, one of the officials in charge of the investigation was initially supposed to be a representative of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the feared military intelligence agency that is notorious for carrying out extrajudicial operations around the world.

The ISI representative was withdrawn from the JIT because of the outcry, but the JIT's composition is still criticised because it is led by representatives of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), both of which are direct government offshoots.

A new judicial commission appointed by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to investigate the murder immediately ran into trouble on November 6 when the retired judge appointed to head it, Abdul Shakoor Paracha, declined to take the job, citing reservations expressed by Sharif's mother about the commission.

Sharif's mother criticised that this commission included someone who had already gone to Nairobi in connection with the case, and did not include a journalist. (ANI)

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