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Pakistan brings home body of journalist killed in Kenya

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ISLAMABAD – The body of an outspoken Pakistani journalist who was shot dead by Nairobi police while living in hiding in Kenya is being repatriated to Islamabad on Tuesday, the government announced. The murder stunned the Pakistani journalist community, which demanded a detailed investigation into the incident.

Arshad Sharif was killed on Sunday evening when the car he was traveling in sped through a checkpoint outside the Kenyan capital and police opened fire. Nairobi Police have expressed regret over the incident, saying it was a case of ‘mistaken identity’ during a search for a similar car involved in a car crash. child abduction.

When the car in which Sharif was traveling with another Pakistani resident, Khurram Ahmed, failed to stop – for reasons that remain unclear – despite being flagged at the checkpoint, police opened fire and fled.

Sharif’s car overturned; he was shot in the head and killed. His family in Pakistan said Ahmed, initially identified as Sharif’s brother by Nairobi police, was not a relative but was the driver of the car, according to information they received.

There has been speculation that Ahmed was injured in the incident and taken to hospital, but Kenyan authorities have not announced any details of Ahmed’s condition and whereabouts.

The 50-year-old journalist fled Pakistan in July when his life was threatened.

A Pakistani plane took off from Kenya earlier Tuesday carrying Sharif’s body and was due to land in Pakistan later Tuesday night, Information Minister Maryam Aurangzeb said. On Monday, Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, who is not related to the slain journalist, spoke with Kenyan President William Ruto about the incident.

Pakistani diplomats were present at Nairobi airport when the plane carrying Sharif’s body took off. Later Tuesday, he stopped in Doha, Qatar, before heading to Pakistan. Sharif’s family said his funeral will be held in Islamabad on Thursday.

Arshad Sharif left Pakistan in July to avoid arrest following a complaint filed against him by a citizen for slandering the country’s national institutions, a reference to the military. His fate was not known to the public; most of his relatives and friends only knew that he had spent time in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates and London.

A month later, Sharif’s employer – private broadcaster ARY Television – fired him, saying he had violated the broadcaster’s social media policy. His talk show POWERPLAY, which airs on Mondays and Thursdays, was discontinued.

Earlier in the year, the station remained critical of the Pakistani prime minister after his predecessor, Imran Khan, was ousted in a defiance of parliament in April. Khan claims he was ousted as a result of an American plot, a charge denied by Washington and the Pakistani government. Sharif had been a prominent critic of Khan’s ousting.

Pakistani journalists and international media watchdog Reporters Without Borders have demanded an independent investigation into Sharif’s murder, while popular Pakistani presenter Hamid Mir said on Monday there were contradictions in statements Nairobi Police on the incident.

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