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Senior journalist Arshad Sharif shot dead in ‘mistaken identity’ case: Kenyan media

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  • Arshad Sharif was killed by police after he and his driver allegedly breached a roadblock.
  • Wife confirms Sharif killed in police shooting.
  • IHC directs officials from interior, foreign ministries to meet journalist’s family.

Senior journalist and anchorperson Arshad Sharif was shot dead by the Kenyan police Sunday night in a “mistaken identity” case while he was travelling to Nairobi from the country’s Magadi town.

In this regard, the Chairperson of the Independent Policing Oversight Authority, Kenya Anne Makori held a press conference on Monday and confirmed that on the evening of October 23, a Pakistani journalist, named Arshad Muhammad Sharif, 50, was shot by the Kenyan police within the limits of Kajiado County.

“There’s an alleged police killing of a Pakistani national at Tinga market, Kajiado county, last evening. Our rapid response team has already been dispatched,” she said, adding that a probe related to the incident is underway and that the Independent Policing Oversight Authority will carry out a transparent investigation into the killing of Sharif.

Kenyan police releases details of tragic incident 

A press statement was also released by the Office of the Inspector-General National Police Service in Nairobi, Kenya, in which details related to the incident were provided. 

“NPS regrets to announce an incident last night along Kwenia farm/ Kamukuru maram road with Magadi, Kajiado, where a foreign national namely Arshad Muhammad Sharif, aged 50, was fatally wounded by a police officer while a passenger in a motor vehicle KDG 200M. At the time of the incident, the deceased was in the company of his brother namely Khurram Ahmed.”

“Incident follows a circulation from Pangani Police of a stolen motor vehicle. The officers trailing the motor vehicle towards Magadi alerted police in Magadi who erected a road barrier,” the statement added.

“Deceased’s motor vehicle came upon the police barrier which they drove through. It is then they were shot at, fatally injuring late Arshad Muhammad Sharif.”

“National Police Service regrets this unfortunate incident. Competent authorities are currently investigating the incident for appropriate action. The Ag. inspector-General on behalf of the Service condoles with the family and friends of the deceased.”

Wife asks for respecting family’s privacy

On Monday morning, Sharif’s wife Javeria Siddiqui took to Twitter and confirmed the news of his demise, acknowledging that her husband was shot in Kenya. She also asked people to respect the privacy of the family and refrain from sharing the family pictures on social and other media.

Before the confirmation from his wife, reports were doing rounds that Sharif had died in an accident.

Sharif was previously associated with ARY News and had gone to Dubai after resigning from the channel. Before going to Kenya, he was spotted in London a few days back after arriving from Dubai. 

IHC issues notice to interior, foreign ministries

Earlier today, a petition was filed in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) for the formation of a panel to ascertain the facts behind Sharif’s death.

Petitioner Barrister Shoaib Razzaq sought the formation of a commission to determine under which circumstances Sharif had fled the country. He also urged the court to issue orders to bring the body of the journalist back to Pakistan.

During the hearing, IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah asked the petitioner where the body of the journalist was currently. At this, the judge was told by the lawyer that it was in Nairobi, Kenya.

Following this, the judge issued notices to the interior and foreign secretaries. He also ordered officials from both ministries to meet the journalist’s family and submit a report by tomorrow.

Imran Khan demands judicial inquiry

In his condolence message to the aggrieved family, PTI Chairman Imran Khan said he was shocked at the brutal murder of Arshad Sharif who paid the ultimate price for speaking the truth.

“He [Arshad Sharif] had to leave the country and be in hiding abroad but he continued to speak the truth on social media, exposing the powerful. Today the entire nation mourns his death.”

The former premier said that a proper judicial investigation must be instituted to examine his own statements plus evidence that other sources have.

“We have descended into a state of brutality, unknown in civilised society, indulged in by the powerful against those who dare to criticise and expose wrongdoings.”

Condolences pour in

Following the news of Sharif’s death, condolences started pouring in from across the country.

President Arif Alvi termed Sharif’s death a “great loss to journalism and Pakistan”.

“May his soul rest in peace and may his family, which includes his followers, have the strength to bear this loss,” tweeted the president.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed sadness over the “shocking news of journalist Arshad Sharif’s tragic death”. 

“May Allah SWT grant him a place in Heaven. My deep condolences and prayers for the bereaved family,” he said.

Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the military’s media wing, said they are deeply aggrieved over the unexpected death of senior journalist Arshad Sharif. “May Allah elevate him to higher heavenly status,” the military said.

The Association of Electronic Media Editors and News Directors (AEMEND) condemned Sharif’s shocking death in a ‘mishandled police shooting’ in Kenya as unimaginably deplorable. “We sadly regret Sharif’s murder and wish his family the courage needed to cope with such an irreparable loss,” Aemend said in a statement adding, “The whole media community is standing by Sharif’s family in this trying time”.

Aemend officials demanded the government ensure a thorough as well as a transparent investigation into Sharif’s brutal killing. “We also urge the government to make the best possible arrangements to bring the remains of the senior journalist back to his homeland and keep the family of the deceased posted on the developments made,” the journalists’ body said in the statement.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan also demanded a transparent inquiry into the circumstances of the journalist’s death.

“Absolutely shocked”, wrote Asad Umar.

Journalist Shahzeb Khanzada also expressed sadness over Sharif’s death. 

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government contests Imran Khan and Qureshi’s exoneration in the cipher case

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On Thursday, the federal government led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court contesting the exoneration of former Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and former Prime Minister Imran Khan in the well-known cipher case.

Citing procedural and jurisdictional issues, the Ministry of Interior has appealed the Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) ruling.

In hearing the cipher case, the High Court allegedly overreached its power, arguing that judges cannot change laws where Parliament has not expressly passed legislation.

Despite receiving government-funded legal representation, the petition emphasized Imran Khan and Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s lack of cooperation during the trial, submitting 65 separate motions and neglecting to cross-examine witnesses.

The petition contended that in order for a retrial to satisfy legal standards, the High Court should have ignored important evidence that was given during the trial. It requests that the appeals contesting the IHC’s June 3 acquittal be given a hearing date by the Supreme Court.

Case history

The cipher issue concerns a supposed diplomatic document that disappeared from Imran Khan’s custody. The cipher allegedly contained threats from the US to remove Khan from office, according to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party. Shah Mehmood Qureshi and several aides, including Asad Umar, are named in the First Information Report (FIR) submitted by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in accordance with Section 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code and Sections 5 and 9 of the Official Secrets Act.

The then-foreign secretary received a diplomatic cipher from Washington on March 7, 2022, according to the FIR. The lawsuit claims that by manipulating the data for their own benefit, Khan and Qureshi put the safety of the country at risk. It alleges that on March 28, 2022, Khan secretly met at his Bani Gala home and gave his Principal Secretary, Muhammad Azam Khan, instructions to change the content of the cipher to his advantage, jeopardizing national security.

The document asserts that Khan still has custody of the cipher, jeopardizing Pakistan’s encrypted messaging systems and possibly helping foreign forces, which would be detrimental to the nation. A complaint has been filed by the FIA’s Anti-Terrorism Wing against Khan, Qureshi, and other individuals for improper use of state secrets and unapproved possession of the cipher.

Acquittal by the Islamabad High Court

In the cipher case, on June 3, the IHC cleared Khan and Qureshi when Justice Aamir Farooq issued a succinct ruling in their favor. Their sentences were appealed in the case, which has since been a source of political and legal controversy, leading to their acquittal.

This acquittal and the ongoing legal and political struggles surrounding the cipher case are highlighted by the government’s subsequent move to contest it.

With potentially huge ramifications for the parties involved and the larger political scene, the Supreme Court’s decision over whether to hear the appeal will be keenly scrutinized.

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Shahid Khaqan Abbasi urges political stability in order to accelerate economic expansion.

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Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, the former prime minister, emphasized on Thursday how important political stability is to Pakistan’s economic development and how the nation cannot prosper without it.

His concern was that export growth had not progressed, and he emphasized that stability in the current climate is vital to draw investments and carry out the necessary reforms.

In his criticism of the tax system, Abbasi brought up the erratic nature of tax laws and the transient nature of the most recent tax slab implementation. Insisting that difficult choices are unavoidable for economic recovery, he emphasized the necessity of designing a tax system that is equitable and does not burden the people.

Furthermore, arguing that the effectiveness of organizations like the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is essential for economic governance and transparency, Abbasi urged for changes within these and other organizations.

Abbasi, in his discussion of more comprehensive fiscal plans, suggested that the National Finance Commission (NFC) award be reviewed again and that power distribution companies (DISCOs) be decentralized to the provinces.

In order to reduce inefficiencies and corruption at the provincial level, he recommended looking into ways to share the cost of defense spending and decentralize the management of energy resources.

In closing, Abbasi emphasized that Pakistan’s economic trajectory will stay stagnant unless comprehensive changes are implemented immediately. To move the nation towards sustainable progress, he urged policymakers to give stability and structural reforms first priority.

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Through in-app QR payments, Zindigi and SBP streamline transactions involving sacrificial animals.

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With its in-app QR code payment system based on Raast, Zindigi—powered by JS Bank—has elevated the convenience of cashless payments for the procurement of sacrificial animals to a whole new level for Eid ul Adha.

This program uses QR code payments to streamline transactions for sacrificed animals for the general public and traders. It is a component of the State Bank of Pakistan’s Raast quick payment service.

This feature enables users of Zindigi and users of any digital banking apps or wallets to safely and easily make payments at certain cattle markets throughout Pakistan using Zindigi QR. The consumer must scan the QR code of the livestock merchant and pay the transaction amount in order to complete the payment.

In order to further financial inclusion and digital innovation in Pakistan’s developing economy, Zindigi and the State Bank of Pakistan have partnered. Both organizations are committed to improving the efficiency and accessibility of financial services, especially on holidays such as Eid ul Adha, by utilizing the most recent developments in fintech.

One of the most important steps toward promoting financial inclusion and economic empowerment at the local level is the integration of livestock markets into the digital economy. Farmers and retailers may take charge of their financial operations and help realize the larger goal of an inclusive digital Pakistan by adopting digital payments.

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