THE judgement of a court in Kenya has brought some clarity to the brutal murder of Pakistani journalist Arshad Sharif in that country in October 2022. Yet many questions remain unanswered, and Pakistani authorities must do the needful to ensure that the slain anchor’s family can access justice. As per the ruling of the High Court of Kenya in Kajiado, the killing by Kenyan law enforcers was found to be “arbitrary, un-proportionate, unlawful and unconstitutional”. Moreover, the court found that the respondents — various Kenyan government agencies — had violated the rights of the petitioners, Sharif’s family and Kenyan journalist bodies. The court also ordered payment of monetary compensation to the murdered journalist’s family. The Committee to Protect Journalists has termed the verdict “an important step towards ending impunity”, while also calling for prosecuting those responsible for the killing. Sharif’s widow, on the other hand, has noted that while the journalist was served justice in Kenya, his case in Pakistan remains pending.

The Kenyan court’s verdict appears to endorse a fact-finding report submitted to the Supreme Court in December 2022. That report has termed the killing a “targeted assassination” while observing that the involvement of “transnational … characters in Kenya, Dubai and Pakistan” in the crime could not be ruled out. It also found “discrepancies” in Kenyan LEAs’ version of events. It is important to uncover the full facts of this case not only to ensure that Arshad Sharif’s family gets justice, but also to identify the powerful elements that may have been involved in silencing a voice of dissent. It needs to be established whether Sharif was made to flee Pakistan, and later the UAE, due to his critical views. The judgement has confirmed that the killing was unlawful; now the ‘why’ and ‘who’ behind this crime must be determined. The Kenyan justice system has done its job; our investigative authorities and courts must now complete theirs.

Published in Dawn, July 10th, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

Miles to go
Updated 14 Jul, 2024

Miles to go

Some reforms agreed with the Fund are going to seriously impact economic growth and fresh investments, at least in the short term.
Iddat ruling
14 Jul, 2024

Iddat ruling

IT was a needless, despicable spectacle which only ended up uniting both conservatives and progressives in ...
Cricket shake-up
14 Jul, 2024

Cricket shake-up

SOMEONE had to take the blame and bear the brunt of the fallout from Pakistan’s disastrous showing at the T20 ...
Injustice undone
Updated 13 Jul, 2024

Injustice undone

The SC verdict is a stunning reversal of fortunes for a party that was, both before and after general elections, being treated as a defunct entity.
Looming flour shortage
13 Jul, 2024

Looming flour shortage

FOR once, it is hard to argue against the reason that compelled flour mills to call a nationwide strike from...
Same old script
13 Jul, 2024

Same old script

WHEN it comes to the troubling issue of enforced disappearances/ missing persons — either Baloch or belonging to...