ISLAMABAD: The investigation team probing the murder of journalist Arshad Sharif will leave for Dubai and Kenya on Saturday (today) to gather information from the officials in the two countries, Dawn has learnt.

The expenses of the Special Joint Investigation Team’s (SJIT) visit will be arranged from the budget of the Islamabad police, officers close to the SJIT told Dawn on Friday.

The officials, on condition of anonymity, said Rs10 million were arranged from the police budget under different heads, including stationery, maintenance and investigation.

The arrangements were made after the interior ministry in December turned down the SJIT’s request to release the funds for their travel to Kenya and Dubai

The officials added that the interior ministry not only turned down the request but it also annoyed the minister concerned.

Later, the funds were arranged for the visit from the police’s budget, the officials added.

During their visit to Dubai, the SJIT members will investigate Mr Sharif’s engagements and question those who had interacted with the slain journalist, the officials told Dawn.

After a week-long stay in Dubai, the team will leave for Kenya.

The officials said the Kenyan government has agreed to assist the SJIT in its investigation.

The Foreign Office has also issued directives to Pakistani missions in Dubai and Kenya to facilitate the team, the officials added.

The SJIT will visit the crime scene, interrogate the cops involved in the shooting and meet the medico-legal officer who conducted Mr Sharif’s autopsy, the officials said.

Besides, the officials of Kenya’s Independent Policing Oversight Authority will also be questioned, they added

The SJIT comprises Islamabad Headquarters Deputy Inspector General Awais Ahmed, FIA Cyber Crime Deputy Inspector General Waqaruddin Syed and representatives from Inter-Services Intelligence, Intelli­gence Bureau and investigation officers from the capital police as members.

Published in Dawn, January 14th, 2023

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