Pakistan Accuses Kenya of Murder

Pakistan Accuses Kenya of Murder

Pakistani Journalist Arshad Sharif was killed in Kenya in October in what Pakistani investigators are calling an assassination. Pictured is his funeral, attended by over 25,000 people. (Photo from Anjum Naveed/AP)


It was October when Pakistani journalist Arshad Sharif was killed in Nairobi, Kenya. He’d fled there fearing for his life in Pakistan, and instead found it taken in Kenya. According to Kenyan police, he was shot and killed after a vehicle he was in drove through a roadblock without stopping. They claim the vehicle matched the description of a vehicle involved in a car jacking, and when it drove through the roadblock they opened fire.

A Kenyan Police Officer looks inside the car Sharif was killed in (Photo from EPA-EFE)

But two fact-finders sent by the Pakistani government are disputing this, saying he was murdered.

Two separate autopsies were performed, one in Kenya and one in Pakistan, both coming up with different results. Kenya’s autopsy reported two injuries, related to the gunshots. Pakistan’s however reported 12 injuries, including marks likely from torture or struggle, though this fact still needs to be verified with the post-mortem examiner.

« It is more probable that the firing was done, after taking proper aim, at a stationary vehicle » -A quote from the fact-finders 600 page report

Besides the obvious disparity in the amount of injuries, one particularly damning part of the report is a bullet wound on Sharif’s back. The placement of it does not have a corresponding bullet mark on the seat he was in, on top of appearing to have happened at close range, therefore it is likely impossible for him to have been shot there sitting where he was.

« The injury had to have been caused either before the journalist got into the vehicle, or the shot was fired from a relatively close range, possibly from inside the vehicle, and almost certainly not a moving vehicle. » -Text from the report detailing the wound.

Sharif fled to Kenya after receiving threats while in Pakistan. He had several charges of treason brought against him after he was accused of spreading a call from an official from the government of Imran Khan allegedly calling for a mutiny amongst soldiers. Sharif and the official denied the charges.

Pictured is Arshad Sharif. Both Imran Khan and current Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif have called for investigations, with Khan saying Arshad Sharif was murdered (Photo from Aamir Qureshi/AFP).

Kenyan officials have yet to extensively comment on the killing.

« The investigation into the matter is still ongoing, so there is not much I can tell » – Resila Onyango, spokesperson for Kenya’s National Police Service.

The report called the killing a « planned targeted assassination with transnational characters ». Their report was submitted to Pakistan’s Supreme Court. Thus far nobody has been charged in connection to the killing.

Sébastien Gray
Sébastien Gray
Sébastien Gray is a published journalist and historicist with over 5 years experience in writing. His primary focus is on East and West African affairs.
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