A well-known Pakistani journalist, Arshad Sharif, was shot dead in Kenya when police chasing the car thieves opened fire on the vehicle he was traveling in as he drove through their roadblock without stopping, according to a Kenyan police report on Monday. .
A Kenyan police watchdog has said it is investigating the incident, which occurred at 10 p.m. Sunday on the outskirts of the capital, Nairobi.
A senior police officer told The Star, a Kenyan newspaper, that the shooting was being treated as a case of mistaken identity. The circumstances of Sharif’s death sparked widespread outrage in Pakistan and called for an investigation.
Sharif worked for many years as a prime time TV news show host for ARY News in Pakistan and had recently fled the country citing threats on his life. It was not immediately clear when he arrived in Kenya.
The police report said a relative of Sharif was driving the car. He said the police had set up the barricade by placing small stones on the road, but the car drove through without stopping, even after the officers opened fire. Nine bullets hit the car and one hit Sharif in the head.
Kenya’s Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA), a civilian watchdog, has launched an investigation into Sharif’s murder, IPOA chair Ann Makori told reporters at a news conference on Monday. .
“There is an alleged police killing of a Pakistani citizen in Tinga market, Kajiado county last night. Our rapid response team has already been dispatched,” he said.
Pakistan’s foreign ministry said its high commissioner in Kenya was in contact with the Kenyan police and foreign office and a police report is expected.
“I lost a friend, husband and my favorite journalist,” his wife, Javeria Siddique, said on Twitter, asking the media to respect the family’s privacy.
Sharif’s death sparked a widespread reaction on Pakistani social media from officials, journalists and others.
“I am deeply saddened by the shocking news of the tragic death of journalist Arshad Sharif,” Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Twitter. The two Sharifs are not related.
Former Prime Minister Imran Khan also condemned the death, saying that Sharif had been killed for his journalistic work. He called for a judicial investigation into the incident.