SC orders new independent JIT to probe Arshad Sharif’s murder

Rejects JIT formed by Islamabad IGP: Says new JIT should be comprised of intelligence officers: Its members should not have any connection with any influential person: CJP says it’s a criminal matter so there is no need to form a judicial commission: Orders to start probe from slain journalist’s two hosts in Kenya: Observes real evidence of crime is in Kenya: Advises govt to raise matter with Kenyan authorities: Justice Naqvi remarks it’s a serious matter and warns govt to take it seriously

By: 24 News
Published: 02:09 PM, 7 Dec, 2022
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Caption: File photo
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Hours after the Islamabad police notified a JIT, the Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected it directing the government to form a new Joint Investigation Team comprising intelligence officials to probe the killing of journalist Arshad Sharif’s murder, reported 24NewsHD TV Channel. 

A five-judge larger SC bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhel, Justice Mazahir Ali Akbar Naqvi and Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar held a suo motu hearing on the Arshad Sharif murder case .

During the hearing, the court was told that the Islamabad IG police formed a five-member JIT to probe journalist Arshad Sharif’s murder and named DIG headquarters as its chairman. 

Rejecting the Islamabad IG’s JIT, the SC ordered the government to form a new JIT and sought a report on the progress of the new JIT by tomorrow. 

CJP Bandial remarked that the federal government should immediately form a new independent investigation team whose members should not have any connections with any influential person.

Arshad Sharif’s mother Riffat Ara Alvi and his widow were present during the hearing. Besides them, the FIA director general, information secretary and the Islamabad police chief were also present in the court.

At the outset of the hearing, the interior ministry presented the fact-finding report. The first information report (FIR) registered on Tuesday of the journalist’s killing was also presented.

As Arshad Sharif’s mother came to the rostrum, she broke down. She said in her application, she mentioned the names of all those people who murdered her son. 

Chief Justice of Pakistan Bandial told her that ‘we are fulfilling our responsibility'. 

She said she only wanted that no one would meet the same fate as her son had met. 

She told the court that Arshad Sharif had been receiving threats that they would come close to him and they would not let him live. 

The chief justice of Pakistan ordered to start the probe from Waqar and Khurram (Arshad Sharif’s hosts in Kenya). He also ordered to record the statement of Arshad’s mother. 

However, the CJP said that it was a criminal matter and there was no need to form a judicial commission. 

Additional Attorney General Aamir Rehman told the court that the investigation team had got information from the Kenyan authorities. A meeting was arranged of the Pakistani probe team with three officials who opened fire on Arshad Sharif’s vehicle. However, the team could not meet the fourth official involved in the shooting because he was injured, the AAG added.  

He further told the court that efforts were underway to arrange a meeting with the concerned Kenyan minister and cabinet secretary. 

The chief justice of Pakistan remarked that the real evidence of the heinous murder was found in Kenya. He observed that the matter would have to be raised with the Kenyan authorities. He appreciated the work of the fact-finding committee. 

The AAG told the court that the police had formed a JIT.

Justice Mazahir Naqvi observed that the report even did not mention the names of officials who opened fire on Arshad’s vehicle. 

Justice Mandokhel inquired on what basis, three people were nominated in the case.  

Justice Naqvi remarked that it was a very serious matter. He remarked: “I am warning that government should take it seriously.” 

Arshad Sharif’s mother told the court that her son was taken out of Dubai. She said she mentioned several people and called upon the government to hold a thorough probe considering all possible angles as was required by the law. 

Justice Mandokhel remarked had the government taken action on the murder of a Pakistani woman in Canada, then this incident would not have happened. 

Islamabad police form JIT 

Meanwhile, earlier today, on the request of SSP investigation, a JIT has been formed to probe Arshad’s killing and a notification has been issued in this regard. 

The CPO Headquarters, DPO Cantt, SHO Ramna police station have been made part of the JIT. 

The JIT would try to complete its report as soon as possible and then would present it to the IG police. 

On Tuesday, an FIR of Arshad Sharif’s murder case was registered in Islamabad’s Ramna police station. 

Reporters Imanat Gishkori and Kifayat Ali Shah