SC directs govt to form new JIT to probe Arshad Sharif's murder

SC directs govt to form new JIT to probe Arshad Sharif's murder

Islamabad (Web Desk): The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday directed the government to form a new special joint investigation team (JIT) comprising to probe the killing of journalist Arshad Sharif.

The top court issued the directives while hearing the suo motu case on Sharif’s killing. Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial.

During the hearing today, the court directed that the investigation team should include independent, capable and senior intelligence officials from the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the Intelligence Bureau (IB), the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the police.

The court directed the foreign office to assist the team in its investigation and collection of evidence abroad. It said that help of international agencies including the UN should be sought for investigation into the incident.

The SC said that the first information report (FIR) of the case, which was registered a day earlier, was brief as an investigation had not taken place and there were no eyewitnesses.

The court directed the government to issue a notification and inform it about the members of the JIT by tomorrow, adding that the probe should be conducted by senior officers.

The apex had directed the authorities concerned to submit a copy of the FIR to the court by Tuesday. The court had also sought the inquiry report of the committee formed by the government to probe the murder and adjourned the hearing till Wednesday.

A government-formed fact-finding committee submitted an interim report to the cell while the SC awaits the final report of the committee.

During the hearing yesterday, the CJP expressed his anger at the federal government for not sharing the committee's final report.

On Tuesday, a first information report (FIR) of murder of journalist Arshad Sharif was registered on the SC orders.

Earlier in the day, the SC directed the incumbent government to register an FIR of the murder of senior journalist Arshad Sharif by tonight.

The directives came after Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial took suo motu notice of the murder.

A five-member bench including  Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail, Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi, and Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar is hearing the case.

The top court had also sought the inquiry report of the committee formed by the government to probe the killing, adjourning the hearing till Wednesday.

As per the SC statement, the honourable CJP has issued notices to Secretary Interior, Secretary Foreign Affairs, Secretary Information and Broadcasting, Director General (DG) Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) DG Intelligence Bureau (IB) and President Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ).

Arshad Sharif was shot dead in Kenya on October 23.

Initially, Kenyan media had quoted the local police as saying Sharif was shot dead by police in a case of “mistaken identity”.

However, later reports reconstructed the events surrounding the killing, stating that an occupant in Sharif’s car at the time of his killing was believed to have shot at paramilitary General Service Unit (GSU) officers.

Arshad had left Pakistan in August 2022 after a number of cases were registered against him.

It was reported that he was initially staying in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after which he went to Kenya, where he was shot dead.

The Pakistani government had formed a two-member team, including FIA and IB officials, to probe the murder. The team had travelled to Kenya and UAE.