Evidence suggests reporter killed in Kenya was targeted, says Pakistan

Pakistan’s interior minister has said evidence suggests a prominent Pakistani journalist was the victim of a targeted killing in Kenya, rather than an accidental shooting, though he said he still needed more information on the incident.

The Kenyan police spokesperson Bruno Shioso declined to respond to Rana Sanaullah’s comments on Tuesday regarding the death of the TV journalist Arshad Sharif, who was shot dead on the evening of 23 October on the outskirts of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

A police report a day after the shooting said police officers hunting car thieves opened fire on the vehicle that Sharif was travelling in as it drove through their roadblock without stopping.

Shioso said the case was being investigated by the police watchdog, the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA). A spokesperson at the IPOA did not immediately respond to calls and a message seeking comment.

Sanaullah told journalists on Tuesday: “Arshad Sharif’s death is not a case of mistaken identity – I can say, and, on the evidence we have so far, this prima facie is a target killing.

“We still need to obtain more [evidence] to confirm all this … and we have asked the Kenyan government for more data.”

Pakistan’s government formed an investigation team to look into the killing, which has caused uproar in the country.

Sanaullah said the team had returned from Kenya, but Kenyan police had not yet given Pakistani investigators all of Sharif’s recovered belongings.

“We will now ask the foreign office to contact the Kenyan government, and the prime minister will also speak to the Kenyan president,” the interior minister said.