Report: Pakistan Journalist Arshad Sharif's Murder a Planned Targeted Assassination

In a report released Wednesday, Pakistani investigators concluded that the killing of Pakistani investigative journalist Arshad Sharif in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi in October was not a "case of mistaken identity" as claimed by Kenyan police, but a "planned targeted assassination."

Report: Pakistan Journalist Arshad Sharif's Murder a Planned Targeted Assassination
Image credit: AFP

Facts

  • In a report released Wednesday, Pakistani investigators concluded that the killing of Pakistani investigative journalist Arshad Sharif in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi in October was not a "case of mistaken identity" as claimed by Kenyan police, but a "planned targeted assassination."
  • According to the fact-finding team, there were several discrepancies and contradictions in the Kenyan police's version of the events that led to Sharif's death. In addition, the investigators allege that "transnational characters" from Kenya, Dubai, and Pakistan could have been involved in his murder.
  • The team further claimed that the Kenyan police were apparently "used as instruments" in Sharif's killing, and that his host was connected to Kenya’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) and other international agencies and law enforcement.
  • Meanwhile, Pakistani TV cited the post-mortem report as saying that the renowned Pakistani journalist was not fatally shot in a moving car, but was forced out of the vehicle and tortured for nearly three hours before being shot in the head and right lung.
  • Arshad Sharif, a vocal opponent of the current Pakistani government, fled into exile earlier this year after charges of sedition were filed against him. He was also reportedly behind a documentary about corruption during the Nawaz Sharif-led government that was about to be released at the time of his death.
  • On Thursday, Pakistan's Supreme Court ordered a five-member Special Investigation Team (JIT) tasked with investigating the case to submit a progress report every two weeks. According to Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, PM Shehbaz Sharif had spoken directly with the Kenyan president and explicitly requested assistance.

Sources: Al Jazeera, Dawn, Tribune, Pakistan Today, and Opindia.

Narratives

  • Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by Print. Arshad Sharif, a supporter of former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, was shot dead to end his ongoing investigation of corruption at the highest levels of Pakistan’s military. It is no secret that the Pakistani Generals, who run the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), work hand in hand with Afghan and Pakistani drug cartels. Sharif was working to expose their ulterior motive – to raise funds for global terrorists and fill their pockets – and was promptly silenced.
  • Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Global Village. Arshad Sharif's murder silenced a very influential voice warning Pakistanis against US interests in their region and sent a chill down the spine of Pakistani journalists who are seeking to challenge global hegemony. It is evident that the US is behind Sharif's brutal murder — only the CIA has the resources, experience, and expertise to assassinate troublesome individuals in foreign countries. Despite this, there is very little chance that authorities will be able to conclusively trace the assassins and bring them to justice.