ISLAMABAD: The ministry of foreign affairs should consider asking the United Nations, or any other international agency, to join the investigation into the murder of journalist Arshad Sharif in Kenya last year, Justice Ijazul Ahsan of the Supreme Court suggested on Thursday.
Justice Ahsan is part of a five-judge Supreme Court bench, which is hearing a suo motu case about the investigation into the murder.
Additional Attorney General (AAG) Chaudhry Aamir Rehman, however, informed the court that the foreign affairs secretary had assured him the government would “examine the matter from all angles and also weigh the advisability of seeking the United Nations role in the investigation”.
Interpol could also be approached for the arrest of suspects wanted by the Special Joint Investigation Team (SJIT), the AAG said.
The widow of Arshad Sharif requested the court to consider including Allah Dino Khawaja, a former secretary of the Narcotics Control department, and two retired army officers, Lt Gen Tariq Khan and Lt Gen Haroon in the SJIT since, according to her, two of the officers in the present investigation team had once been subordinate to one of the accused.
Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial described the probe into Arshad Sharif’s killing as a test case but added that the court would never include retired army officers in the investigation process.
The CJP advised the widow not to “mistrust people”.
“Otherwise, institutions will never work,” he said, adding that even subordinate officers sometimes work wonders.
Justice Naqvi asked DIG Awais Ahmad, the SJIT’s convener, whether statements were recorded under Section 161 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) (examination of witness by police). The answer was in the affirmative.
“It is the investigating team’s job to unearth the conspirators behind the journalist’s killing,” observed Justice Jamal Mandokhel.
The additional attorney general informed the court that the federal government had already sanctioned funds for visits to Dubai and Kenya by the SJIT.
He said the team did not leave for Kenya earlier since those it intended to interview were not available due to Christmas and New Year holidays.
Published in Dawn, january 6th, 2023
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