Journalist murder: Kenya refuses to help Pakistan in Arshad Sharif murder case


LONDON/NAIROBI: The Kenyan government authorities have told Pakistan point-blank they will not cooperate anymore with the Pakistan investigators in the Arshad Sharif murder investigation.

Pakistani authorities have written to Kenya’s Foreign Office requesting it they be allowed to do a fresh investigation in Kenya, but the Kenyan government has made it clear on more than five occasions that the African country has done enough and will not allow any more investigation inside the country, sources in both Pakistan and Kenya have confirmed.

The Kenyan authorities, said the sources, told Pakistani authorities it provided every possible help to two Pakistani investigators – the Intelligence Bureau’s Omar Shahid Hamid and the Federal Investigation Agency’s Dr Athar Waheed – and that it was not ready to do the same all over again. “No new investigation will yield any different result. We helped Pakistan as much as we can and that’s that,” said a Kenya government source.

The Kenyan government source shared that government, police and intelligence services are “very upset” about the conclusion drawn in the scathing report by Omar Shahid Hamid and Dr Waheed i.e. that there was a strong case of a murder conspiracy leading up to Arshad Sharif’s assassination; the Kenyan police’s potential complicity, non-professionalism and changing statements; a clear case of murder plot cover up; and a lack of will of the Kenyan authorities to investigate the murder case properly.

Three weeks ago, Geo and The News revealed exclusively that an investigation by the Kenyan government authorities maintains that Pakistani journalist Arshad Sharif’s killing was a case of “mistaken identity” and there was no murder planning involved. The Kenyan government report, which remains unpublished till now, says that Arshad Sharif was killed by four members of the para-military General Service Unit (GSU) in a random shootout because his driver Khurram Ahmed didn’t stop at the roadblock and that there was no murder planning.

Since then, Pakistanis have approached the Kenyan government to share this report with Pakistan authorities, but the Kenyan government has refused. A five-member bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, and comprising Justice Ijazul Ehsan, Justice Muneeb Akhtar, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail and Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, heard the suo motu notice and ordered a new inquiry.

Pakistan has since then written many times to Kenya citing SC orders, but the Kenyan government has told Pakistan the necessary cooperation has already been provided and that Pakistan SC’s orders were Pakistan’s internal matter, said the source. In the second week of February, the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) formed by Pakistan’s Supreme Court to probe the murder of Arshad Sharif had told the court no valid evidence was found during the Kenya visit and also cited a lack of cooperation from the authorities of Kenya. The team had visited Kenya on the SC’s directions. It has been learnt the team was not allowed to carry out any work and was told that it would be in violation of local laws if it stepped out beyond its legal limitations. In October last, Arshad Sharif was shot dead by the Kenyan police in what they claimed was a “mistaken identity” case while he was returning to Nairobi from Kenya’s Magadi Town. The Kenyan police claimed they opened fire after the vehicle breached a blockade. The second JIT head, Awais Ahmed, has already told the SC the JIT found no solid evidence in Kenya, adding the authorities of the foreign country did not provide access to evidence in the case.

According to Kenyan sources, Pakistani investigators wanted to visit the incident site, AmmoDump camp, and the flat where Arshad Sharif lived as well as access to Kenya’s own record. But, they were told none of this was possible and no Kenyan official was prepared to spare time to help the Pakistani investigators. Since then, Pakistan Foreign Office has approached Kenya’s diplomatic mission and written to Kenya’s Foreign Ministry for help, but Pakistan has been told in categorical terms there will be no more help. Arshad Sharif’s family, friends and Pakistani media believe the senior journalist was killed in a planned murder attack in Kenya.__The News