FIR lodged against Arshad Sharif murder after CJP takes suo motu notice

Five-member larger bench of Supreme Court conducts hearing: Seeks immediate submission of report of fact-finding committee

By: News Desk
Published: 11:41 AM, 6 Dec, 2022
FIR lodged against Arshad Sharif murder after CJP takes suo motu notice
Caption: Arshad Sharif.
Stay tuned with 24 News HD Android App
Get it on Google Play

To comply with the orders of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, an FIR was registered at Islamabad's Ramna Police Station for the murder of senior journalist Arshad Sharif, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

The Supreme Court Tuesday ordered the government to register an FIR of the brutal killing of senior journalist Arshad Sharif.

According to the details, the three persons are nominated in the FIR including Khurram, Waqar and Tariq. 

Earlier, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial issued the orders while hearing the suo motu notice regarding the murder incident.

A five-member larger bench of the Supreme Court, headed by CJP Umar Ata Bandial, heard the case.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Jamal Mandokhail, Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi and Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar were part of the bench.

“Should we summon the interior minister? Where is the interior minister?” the CJP questioned during the hearing of the notice.

“We will present the report of the fact-finding committee tomorrow,” Additional Attorney General Aamir Rehman told the court.

“Wasting time in investigation matters is not the work of the Supreme Court; it is the work of the government. Arshad Sharif was a renowned journalist. Why was he murdered and why abroad?” the CJP questioned further.

“Pakistan has vast resources to investigate such matters. Pakistan has access to foreign countries. Where is the foreign secretary?” he added.

Foreign Secretary Asad Majeed appeared before the court. “Asad Majeed is already quite popular. What is not being said on social media,” the CJP remarked. “There are many Pakistanis in Kenya. I have also been there once,” he added.

“Let the prime minister examine the report,” the additional attorney general pleaded with the court.

“What is there in the report that it is not being submitted to the Supreme Court?” Justice Ijazul Ahsan questioned.

“It means if the interior minister likes the report, it will be submitted,” he remarked.

“We have come to know that the report consists of 400 pages,” the CJP asked from the additional attorney general.

“We do not object to the review of the report by the chief executive, but it should be submitted to the court,” he remarked.

“The medical report itself is not satisfactory. We are taking this matter seriously. Journalists are the voice of truth. If they tell lies, the government has the authority to act,” he added.

The additional attorney general told the court that the interior minister was in Faisalabad when the report had come. “After Rana Sanaullah sees the report, it will be submitted to the Supreme Court. It may contain some sensitive material,” he added.

“Is the interior minister to change the report? Let’s summon the interior minister now. Submit the report of the fact-finding committee today so that it can be heard tomorrow. We have been waiting for the report for 43 days. We are taking the matter seriously,” the CJP expressed indignation.

“A five-member bench has been formed due to the seriousness of the situation. Since October 30 till date, the court has received the medical report only,” he added.

“Is there any investigation in Kenya?” Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar questioned.

“The journalist was killed in a suspicious manner in Kenya. What has the Ministry of Foreign Affairs done so far?” Justice Ijazul Ahsan said.

The foreign secretary told the court that the prime minister had also spoken to the President of Kenya, adding that the Pakistani High Commissioner in Kenya was in touch with the authorities concerned.

“To our knowledge, no criminal case has been registered in Kenya for the murder of Arshad Sharif,” the CJP said.

Earlier, the CJP took suo motu notice of the murder of senior journalist Arshad Sharif and fixed a hearing for today.

Notices had been issued to the interior secretary, information secretary and foreign secretary.

The director generals of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the president of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) had also been issued notices.

The apex court in its declaration said that the journalist community and the people were deeply saddened over the murder of the senior journalist.

“Investigations are being demanded from the Supreme Court into the murder of Arshad Sharif,” it added.

Arshad Sharif was shot dead in Kenyan police in October under mysterious circumstances.

On November 8 last, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had requested CJP Umar Ata Bandial to constitute a judicial commission to hold impartial and credible inquiry into the killing of renowned journalist Arshad Sharif.

In a letter written to the CJP, Shehbaz asked the top judge to form a commission comprising all available judges of the Supreme Court to ascertain the facts surrounding the mysterious murder of the journalist.

The letter suggested that the commission may focus on five questions related to the circumstances surrounding the killing:

What procedure Arshad Sharif adopted to go abroad in August 2022 and who facilitated his departure abroad?

Was any federal or provincial agency, institution or administration aware of the threat issued to Arshad Sharif?

What circumstances and reasons forced Arshad Sharif to travel to Kenya from the United Arab Emirates?

What is the real truth behind the firing incident in which Arshad Sharif died?

Is Arshad Sharif's death really a case of mistaken identity or is it the result of a ‘criminal game’?

PM Shehbaz had said in the letter that the formation of a commission is necessary to uphold the rule of law in the country and added that the federal government will extend full support to the panel in investigating the murder.

The premier told the chief justice that judicial inquiry into the killing was inevitable to restore the public confidence in the state institutions as doubts being raised over the alleged involvement of government officials in the gruesome murder.

Reporter: Amanat Gishkori