The fact-finding team (FFT) probing the murder of journalist Arshad Sharif has concluded that his killing was a case of planned and targeted assassination.
The finding was disclosed in the report of the two-member fact team (FFT) from a committee comprising of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Director Dr Athar Wahood and Intelligence Bureau Deputy Director General Omer Shahid Hamid.
In its 592-page report, the team learned that Arshad Sharif, who had been compelled to leave UAE and seek refuge in Kenya, wanted to return to the Emirates but found his way back blocked, losing his life in the African country.
The report stated that some of the FIRs which compelled Arshad Sharif to leave Pakistan were filed at the behest and under pressure of the ISI according to the policemen who filed them.
The report said per testimonies provided by his former colleagues and employer, Arshad Sharif had been forced out of UAE after he reportedly met with UAE security officials in his hotel lobby in mid August.
Arshad Sharif had left the UAE even though he had a valid visa for the country.
The FFT report further said that his departure from UAE came after consultations with the Dubai based team of his employer.
The report stated that Waqar – who sponsored and hosted the journalist – was connected to Kenya’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) and other international agencies and law enforcement organisations.
It further said that the fact that Waqar handed over Sharif’s personal cell phone and iPad to a NIS officer, rather than to the police, ‘established’ his link with the NIS.
“His linkage with national and international agencies provides a scope of possibilities of transnational characters in this case,” the report states.
The narrations presented by Khurram, who drove the vehicle prior to Sharif’s murder, regarding the sequence of events and the crime scene, were contrary to logic and facts, and that there were no penetration marks of a bullet on Sharif’s car seat, the report points out. It also highlights that the Kenyan police quickly declared the killing a case of “mistaken identity” without investigation. The post-mortem report in Pakistan identified that four fingernails of the slain journalist’s left hand were missing, giving rise to speculation that Sharif had been tortured before his death, says the report but adds that while the Kenyan post-mortem did mention “fingernails” taken as DNA samples, it did not mention how many fingernails were taken.
“Keeping in view the apparent differences in the two post-mortem reports, there is no concrete evidence to establish that Arshad Sharif was tortured before the killing,” the report said.