Pakistan: Non-bailable warrants issued for (murdered Journalist) Arshad Sharif’s wife, producer


A district and sessions court issued non-bailable arrest warrants on Saturday for murdered journalist Arshad Sharif’s wife Summaiya Arshad and producer Ali Usman.

The warrants were issued after the two reportedly failed to appear despite summons from the court.

Sharif, a prominent anchorperson, had fled the country in August 2022 to avoid arrest after he was slapped with multiple cases, including sedition charges, over an interview with PTI leader Shahbaz Gill during which the latter had made controversial comments.

Gill served as a special assistant to the then-prime minister during PTI’s term in government from 2018 to 2022.

Alleging threats to his life, Sharif had moved to Dubai in August and later relocated to Kenya.

In a killing shrouded in mystery, Sharif was shot dead on the outskirts of Kenya’s Nairobi city on October 23.

Kenyan Human Rights Commission’s (KHRC) Senior Programme Adviser Martin Mavenjin has said that the murder investigation conducted by local authorities hinted at an “inside job” and implied Sharif was under surveillance for a while.

Suo moto notice

A separate case is in ongoing in the Supreme Court after soon-to-retire Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial took suo moto notice of the investigative journalist’s investigation in December 2022.

At the last hearing held in July 2023, the top court rejected Sharif’s mother’s plea to include five persons, who the family believes have knowledge regarding the conspirators and perpetrators behind the assassination, in the scope of the investigation.

Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan was among the five persons named by the petitioner.

“The court in present suo motu is merely facilitating the investigation into the assassination of Arshad Sharif and it has no mandate to direct the course of investigation,” the five-member bench conducting suo moto proceedings had noted in its written order, directing the petitioner to approach the Special Joint Investigation Team (JIT) instead.

During the hearing, Justice Bandial observed that it was imperative to know why Sharif went to Kenya. He also stressed the need for examining the vehicle in which the journalist was killed.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed the court that the case could not proceed till a mutual cooperation agreement is reached with Kenya and the AGP apprised that communication with Interpol is in process.

Sharif’s lawyer had initially approached the Islamabad High Court seeking the formation of a judicial commission to ensure a fair and transparent