UN probe demanded in killing of Pakistan journalist Arshad Sharif in Kenya

Islamabad: Salman Iqbal, a prominent Pakistani media personality and businessman has demanded a probe by the UN into the killing of journalist Arshad Sharif in Kenya as he does not have faith in the investigation carried out by the current PML-N government.

Sharif, 49, fled Pakistan in August for the UAE and later went to Kenya where he was killed on Sunday night. The Kenyan police later said it was a case of mistaken identity during a search for a similar car involved in a child abduction case.

Salman Iqbal, the President and CEO of ARY Digital Network as well as having multiple businesses, was associated with his channel and it is alleged that he asked Sharif to flee the country and also persuaded him to go to Kenya.

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Iqbal issued a statement on Twitter on Friday after Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah levelled allegations against him during his press conference and demanded that he should be brought back from the UAE for the probe.

It has been stated that I should be included in the investigation into the killing of Arshad. I do not believe in the independence of the investigation being undertaken by the present (Pakistan Muslim League (N) PML-N government but will answer any questions put to me.

I am calling for an independent investigation overseen by the UN Human Rights Office, and will of course provide my full cooperation to any such investigation seeking to get to the full truth behind the killing of Arshad Sharif with a view to bringing those responsible to justice, he said.

He said that it was not easy to be a journalist in Pakistan and there were threats to Sharif.

We knew that threats to Sharif’s life were legitimate. He repeatedly appealed in writing to all relevant sectors of government for protection. Instead of receiving help, he was targeted with cases of sedition, multiple FIRs and arrest warrants, which compelled him to make the difficult choice to leave Pakistan, he said.

Iqbal condemned the smear campaign against him by the incumbent government.

Sharif, a senior journalist and former ARY News anchor was killed in Kenya where he was living in self-exile. A seasoned journalist, he was one of Pakistan’s top news anchors.

His death has created a storm in Pakistan where allegations are being traded among politicians, apparently to gain political mileage.

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