Pakistani journalist Arshad Sharif, who was killed in Kenya, was brutally tortured for hours before being shot dead, a media report said on Thursday citing post-mortem reports.
Sharif, 49, a former reporter and TV anchor with ARY TV, and known for his proximity to former prime minister Imran Khan, had fled to Kenya after he was booked on charges of sedition and peddling an “anti-state” narrative by Pakistan’s security agencies earlier this year.
He was shot dead at a police checkpoint at an hour’s distance from Nairobi on October 23, creating a storm in the country.
Sharif was killed last month in Kenya and the local police claimed that it was a case of mistaken identity. The Express Tribune reported that Dunya TV host Kamran Shahid in his talk show on Wednesday night claimed that Sharif was shot at close range and that this was not a case of mistaken identity but a ‘planned murder’.
Citing his post-post-mortem reports, Shahid claimed that Sharif was brutally tortured for hours before being shot dead, the paper said.
He further claimed that the slain journalist’s fingernails were pulled out and his fingers and ribs were broken during torture.
The senior journalist, on his show, further stated that around ’10 American instructors and trainers’ were present at the shooting range on the day of Sharif’s murder.
According to Shahid, Sharif’s contact in Kenya decided to take a longer route back to the city on the day of the murder instead of the oft-used Magadi Highway route.
The private TV programme further claimed that the Kenyan authorities did not cooperate with the investigation either, adding that they also avoided giving information about the persons present at the range.
Earlier, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said evidence suggested Sharif was the victim of a targeted killing in Kenya, not an accidental shooting, though he still needed more information on the incident.
Kenyan police spokesman Bruno Shioso declined to respond to the minister’s comments on the death of the TV journalist.
A police report a day after the shooting said police officers hunting car thieves opened fire on the vehicle that Sharif was traveling in as it drove through their roadblock without stopping.
Shioso said the case was now being investigated by the police watchdog, the state Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA). A spokesperson at the IPOA did not immediately respond to calls and a message seeking comment.
The Pakistan government has formed an investigation team to look into the matter while the interior minister said the Kenyan police had not yet given Pakistani investigators all of Sharif’s recovered belongings.
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