SC rejects ‘special JIT’ formed to probe Arshad Sharif’s murder
The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday rejected the Special Joint Investigation Team (JIT) formed by federal government to probe the murder of senior journalist Arshad Sharif and ordered to form another team.
A five-member larger bench headed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial includes Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail, Justice Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi and Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar heard the case.
At the outset of the hearing, the report of the fact-finding team probing the murder of senior journalist Arshad Sharif was submitted to the Supreme Court.
During the hearing, the CJP Umar Ata Bandial rejected the ‘special JIT’ formed to probe the journalist’s murder saying, “Federal government should immediately form a new investigation team. The court wants an independent team to investigate the issue.” The CJP ordered to include FIA, ISI, and IB representative in the JIT.
He further remarked that the information should be shared with the family of the deceased journalist to ensure that competent officers doing their work according to the law.
The Additional Attorney General Amir Rehman told the court that the Pakistan’s investigation team met three officers who opened fired on Arshad’s car, while the fourth officer was injured as he did not meet the team.
CJP Bandial said that fact-finding team has done a commendable investigation but more evidences were required in the case.
Justice Mazahar Ali inquired that why the names of Kenyan police officers who opened fire not included in the FIR.
Further Justice Jamal Mandokhel inquired that on what basis just three people from Karachi have been named in the case?
At this, AAG Rehman said that there is a need to review if a case can be registered against foreigners. He added that the report was part of the record.
Referring to the slain journalist’s mother, CJP Bandial said: “She is the mother of two martyrs; the stance of the martyr’s mother should be heard with patience and tolerance.”
At this Sharif’s mother responded the way Arshad was forced to leave Pakistan and UAE was mentioned in the report, adding that, “I just want justice for my son.”
The CJP remarked that Sharif’s mother has given the names of several people, so the government should not include those officer who are subordinate of nominated suspects.
Meanwhile, Justice Jamal Khan Mandokhail observed that an activist was killed last year in Canada, adding that if that had been investigated then such an incident would not have happened with a Pakistani expat.
“It is very sad that we spring into action after the incident, not before,” observed Justice Mandokhail.
Later, the court adjourned the hearing till 12:30 tomorrow.