Pakistan PM Meets Ruto Over Investigations Into Arshad Sharif's Death

Photo of Pakistan Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar
Photo of Pakistan Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar
PM Anwaar

Caretaker Pakistani Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar has reached out to President William Ruto in a bid to unravel the mystery behind the murder of investigative journalist Arshad Sharif.

According to Pakistani media outlets, the Prime Minister urged Ruto to fast track investigations into the murder of the popular journalist when the two met on Tuesday on the sidelines of the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation being held in Beijing, China.

"The Prime Minister requested the Kenyan President for facilitation and finalisation of the report of Special Joint Investigation Team in the murder case of late Pakistani journalist Arshad Sharif," the outlets quoted the Pakistani PM's office.

Photo of the late journalist Arshad Sharif
Photo of the late journalist Arshad Sharif

Sharif's Murder

Sharif, an investigative journalist, known to be very critical of the Pakistani military, was killed in Kajiado  at a roadblock along the Nairobi- Magadi Highway on October 23, 2022, nearly two months after he left Pakistan to seek refuge in Kenya.

His murder quickly hit national headlines in Pakistan which prompted the Kenyan Police to issue a statement. At the time, the National Police Service claimed that the journalist's killing was a case of mistaken identity.

According to NPS's account which has since been dismissed as misleading by the independent Pakistani investigators, the journalist was shot in the head by General Service Unit (GSU) officers after allegedly breaching a roadblock set up to inspect motor vehicles along the route.

When the shooting occurred, Shariff was in the car in the company of his Kenyan host Kuram Ahmed, who emerged from the whole episode unscathed.

The 600-page report published by the Pakistani investigators concluded that the journalist's killing was a planned assassination and dismissed the Kenyan police account on how Shariff was shot as a ballistic impossibility.

Similarly, a post-mortem report conducted in Pakistan documented multiple injuries on Sharif's body, including four missing fingernails, hand wounds, and a broken rib. However, the investigation did not find sufficient evidence to confirm that Sharif was tortured before his death.

Such was the high profile nature of the case that the Pakistani Supreme Court set up a panel of five judges to supervise an investigation into the death of the prominent journalist

The deceased 49-year-old journalist had fled Pakistan after facing multiple charges, including serious accusations like treason and attempts to subvert the government.

Trade Talks

During the meeting, President Ruto and the Pakistani Prime Minister also discussed bilateral cooperation in diverse fields and reaffirmed their commitment to enhancing trade relations, investments, and education.

PM Kakar said as a fellow member of the Belt and Road Initiative, Pakistan would like to enhance collaboration with other BRI member countries including Kenya to identify and develop new projects and initiatives.

"This commitment underscores Pakistan’s dedication to furthering development and shared prosperity through increased cooperation and partnerships," noted the PM.

The Pakistani Prime Minister extended an invitation to Ruto to visit their nation, a gesture that the Head of State accepted. In return, Ruto invited Kakar to visit Kenya, an invitation that was met with a positive response.

President William Ruto attends Investors' Roundtable in Beijing, China, on Tuesday, October 17.
President William Ruto attends the Investors' Roundtable in Beijing, China, on Tuesday, October 17, 2023.
  • . . . . . .