Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah on Friday accused the two brothers who hosted Arshad Sharif in Kenya of being in cahoots with Kenyan police over the journalist’s murder.
Speaking on the Geo Pakistan show, the minister termed Mr Sharif’s murder a “target killing” and said that this was not a case of “mistaken identity”.
He alleged that the two brothers had Mr Sharif killed along with the Kenyan police and then tried to paint a different picture. “The brothers aren’t even providing [investigators] access to their mobile phone data,” he claimed.
While investigations are under way to probe Mr Sharif’s death, several TV channels claimed that he was tortured and shot at close range after he was asked to step out of his car.
Pims director says ‘torture claims’ can only be confirmed upon receipt of forensics report
News broadcasts showed images that allegedly showed bullet marks and signs of torture on the body, claiming that the post-mortem report mentioned signs of torture.
But according to Pakistan Institute of Management (Pims) Director Dr Khalid Masood, only a forensics report could confirm if journalist Arshad Sharif was tortured before being shot dead, Dawn.com reported on Friday.
In an interview with DawnNewsTV, Dr Masood said that it could neither be “confirmed nor denied” that the journalist was tortured. However, he confirmed that Mr Sharif’s nails were “removed” and his body was bruised.
“We still haven’t received the post-mortem report from Kenya […] so we can’t say if the nails were removed for forensic purposes or if it was torture,” he said, stating that only a forensics report could confirm if the journalist was tortured.
“Only the medico-legal team can give an expert opinion about the nails being removed,” he added.
He also said that the hospital had sent photographs of the bruises on Mr Sharif’s body for forensics as well.
Separately, in an earlier interview with Geo News journalist Shahzeb Khanzada, Dr Masood gave further details, saying that the medical team that conducted Mr Sharif’s post-mortem in Pakistan found 12 bruises on his body. “For example, his right wrist has bruise marks… for example four nails from his right hand are missing… there is a bruise on the left hand’s index finger.
“So, it [the medical team] has identified 12 spots… all these things have been sent for forensics… only the forensics [report] will be able to tell if torture took place or not,” he said, cautioning that Mr Sharif’s case was very sensitive and all the things needed to be proven technically.
In response to a question, Dr Masood reiterated that the board had not yet received a post-mortem report from Kenya. “If we get a post-mortem report from Kenya officially […] that what have they taken from which body part […] whether they have taken the nails […] this is also possible.”
The doctor also said that a preliminary medical report had been provided to the “concerned quarters”, i.e. the SHO of the Ramna police station. “Neither Sharif’s mother nor his wife came to us […] his wife first submitted an application for a postmortem but she never reached out to us after that […].
“It is their right. If they come to us […] this is their right and we will give it to them,” Dr Masood added.
Published in Dawn, November 12th, 2022