South Asia

Pakistan’s PM orders judicial probe into Khan attack and death of journalist

Photo: Reuters

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has asked the country’s top judge to establish judicial commissions to investigate the assassination attempt on former prime minister Imran Khan and the recent killing of Pakistani journalist Arshad Sharif in Kenya.

Sharif said in a tweet on Tuesday night that he had written two letters to the chief justice of Pakistan’s Supreme Court, Umar Ata Bandial, requesting that he establish a judicial commission to investigate Arshad Sharif’s killing and the attack on Imran Khan.

“These unfortunate incidents are being used to make false allegations, spread chaos and undermine institutions. Let truth b determined,” he tweeted.

This comes after Arshad Sharif was shot dead in Nairobi, Kenya last month when police reportedly opened fire on the car he was traveling in. Kenyan police have said it was a case of mistaken identity.

But Pakistan’s interior minister Rana Sanaullah said at a press conference on Tuesday that it appears to have been a targeted killing.

“We have sought briefing from the inquiry team which visited Kenya and from the information they gave, it looks like this was a targeted attack, and not a case of mistaken identity,” Sanaullah said.

Last week, former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan was shot in the leg while attending a protest rally in Wazirabad.

Khan had been standing on top of a vehicle, waving to a crowd of supporters, when a gunman opened fire – hitting Khan in the leg.

Khan underwent surgery in a Lahore hospital and was released on Sunday.

According to al-Jazeera, Sharif said in his letter regarding the attempted assassination of Khan, that the supreme court judges should investigate the people providing security to Khan and what measures had been taken to safeguard his life.

The letter meanwhile comes as tensions remained high this week after nationwide protests following the attack.

Khan’s PTI supporters and party workers have accused the government of orchestrating the assassination plot.

Pakistan’s The Tribune reported that the letter also highlighted the delay in registering the police complaint into the Khan shooting. A first information report (FIR) was only filed by the police on Monday, five days after the assassination attempt.

Sharif’s letter on the Khan shooting appeared to have been written before an FIR was registered as he stated in the letter that no FIR was registered despite a lapse of over 72 hours.

In his letter he said law enforcement agencies and investigating authorities in the Punjab government have “failed to adhere to the law and the rules applicable to any investigation following an incident of this nature”.

He then questioned whether law enforcement agencies and administrative authorities failed to comply with the prescribed investigation, evidence collection and handling procedures following the incident.

In the letter he also questioned whether the investigation into the incident was being deliberately impeded.

Emphasizing the importance of impartial investigations into the two incidents to restore public confidence, Sharif added that the government would provide full support to the two commissions.

“The government is of the opinion that pending criminal investigation and in order to put matters to rest and restore public confidence in state institutions, an impartial body needs to inquire into the matter to ascertain facts, identify culprits, and affix responsibility,” Sharif wrote.