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Popular Pakistani TV host shot dead by police in Kenya

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Oct 24, 2022 - 10:09 AM

KARACHI, Pakistan (AA) – A prominent Pakistani journalist and TV host, Arshad Sharif, was shot dead by police in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, his family and media reported on Monday.

Sharif was shot in the head and killed by police after his driver and he allegedly breached a roadblock that had been set up to check on motor vehicles on the route, Kenyan daily The Star reported, citing local police officials.

They were driving from Magadi town to Nairobi when they were flagged down at a roadblock being manned by a group of police officers, police said.

The Nairobi police claimed Sharif’s shooting was a “case of mistaken identity.”

“We had an incident of shooting which turned out to be a case of mistaken identity involving a journalist. We will release more information later,” an unnamed senior police officer was cited by The Star as saying.

According to police, at the roadblock, the police were supposed to intercept a car, which was similar to the one Sharif and his driver were driving, following a carjacking incident in the Pangani area, Nairobi where a child was taken hostage.

The police, the newspaper reported, stopped Sharif and his driver at the roadblock but they allegedly failed to stop and drove past the roadblock, prompting a brief chase and shooting that left Sharif dead.

His driver was injured in the incident, who later told the police at a hospital that his slain colleague and he were developers and were headed for a site in Magadi, the newspaper further said.

Earlier, Sharif’s wife Javeria Siddique said on Twitter: “I lost friend, husband and my favourite journalist @arsched today, as per police he was shot in Kenya.”

“Respect our privacy and in the name of breaking pls don’t share our family pics, personal details, and his last pictures from hospital. Remember us in ur prayers,” she added.

“Arshad Sharif’s death is 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,” President Arif Alvi tweeted.

Sharif worked for the local English daily Dawn and later hosted a popular political show at ARY News, a local broadcaster, for several years.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Asim Iftikhar said Pakistan’s High Commission in Kenya was in touch with the Kenyan authorities.

Sharif had left the country first for Dubai and later London in August after his channel parted ways with him, without citing any specific reason, following the ouster of former Prime Minister Imran Khan through a no-trust vote in April.

Sharif and other ARY officials were charged with sedition over a controversial interview with Shahbaz Gill, a leader of Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, which was broadcast on the channel in August. Gill was later arrested and released on bail.

Sharif was known to be a staunch supporter of Khan and openly criticized the alleged role of state institutions in his ouster.

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