Nairobi police say Pakistani journalist killed by mistake

Oct 23, 2022, 2:49 PM | Updated: Oct 24, 2022, 9:59 am
Journalists hold a demonstration to condemn the killing of senior Pakistani journalist Arshad Shari...

Journalists hold a demonstration to condemn the killing of senior Pakistani journalist Arshad Sharif by Kenyan police, in Lahore, Pakistan, Monday, Oct. 24, 2022. Sharif, 50, had been in hiding abroad after leaving Pakistan to avoid arrest on charges of criticizing his country's powerful military. Sharif was shot and killed by police after the car he was in sped up instead of halting at a roadblock near Nairobi, the police said. The police said it was a case of "mistaken identity" during a search for a similar car involved in a case of child abduction. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

(AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A senior Pakistani journalist living in hiding in Kenya was shot and killed by police after the car he was in sped up instead of halting at a roadblock near Nairobi, the police said on Monday. Kenyan police expressed regret over the incident, saying it was a case of “mistaken identity” during a search for a similar car involved in a case of child abduction.

Arshad Sharif, 50, left Pakistan in July to avoid arrest over criticizing the South Asian country’s powerful military. He was also a critic of the government of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, who has repeatedly said he believes in freedom of the media.

On Monday, Sharif spoke with Kenyan President William Ruto and asked him to ensure a fair and transparent investigation into the journalist’s killing, according to a government statement.

Nairobi police said Arshad Sharif was shot in the head and killed Sunday night after the car he was in with his brother, Khurram Ahmed, drove through a roadblock set up on the Nairobi-Magadi highway to check vehicles along the key route. They were traveling from the town of Magadi to the Kenyan capital.

The two ignored police orders to stop and sped up. “They did not stop and proceeded with the journey,” the police said. Police opened fire and laid chase, during which the car flipped over.

Sharif’s wife Javeria Siddique confirmed that her husband was killed in Kenya. His brother’s condition was not immediately known.

Sharif left Pakistan in July to avoid arrest following a citizen’s complaint against him on allegations of maligning the country’s national institutions, a reference to the military. His whereabouts were not publicly known; most of his friends knew only that he had spent time in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, and London.

Nairobi police said the Independent Policing Oversight Authority will take over the case for further investigation.

“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,” a senior Kenyan police officer said earlier, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

According to police, the roadblock was set up to find and intercept a car similar to Sharif’s following a carjacking in the Pangani area of Nairobi, where a child was taken hostage.

Pakistani President Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Sharif, who is not related to the slain journalist, the country’s military and other senior officials in Pakistan expressed their condolences.

A month after he left Pakistan, the private ARY Television fired Arshad Sharif, saying he had repeatedly criticized the military on social media in violation of the TV station’s policy. His talk show POWERPLAY, which aired on Mondays and Thursdays, was discontinued.

The station had earlier in the year remained critical of Pakistan’s prime minister following the ouster of his predecessor, Imran Khan, in a no-confidence in the parliament in April. Khan claims he was ousted under a U.S. plot, a charge both Washington and the Pakistani government deny.

On Monday, Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf party and its senior leaders, including Fawad Chaudhry, condemned Sharif’s killing and demanded a detailed investigation. Khan also visited Sharif’s residence in Islamabad to express his condolences to the family.

Later on Monday, dozens of journalists rallied in Islamabad over the killing and demanded justice for Sharif. “We don’t believe the version of the Kenyan police,” veteran journalist Hamid Mir said at the rally. He demanded an independent probe into the incident, saying there were contradictions in the statement of Kenyan police. His demand came after Kenyan police expressed regret and offered condolences to the journalist’s family.

A court in Islamabad in August asked Pakistan’s intelligence agency and police to stop harassing Sharif after the journalist, through his lawyer, petitioned the court, saying his fundamental rights were being violated by security forces. Police and the government at the time confirmed that Sharif is being sought in a complaint case but said no action had been carried out to arrest Sharif.


Ahmed reported from Islamabad.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE- Russia's Sudzha gas pumping station is seen, Sunday, Jan. 11, 2009. Russian energy giant Gazp...
Associated Press

Russian energy giant says no further gas cuts to Moldova

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Russian energy giant Gazprom announced Monday that it will not further reduce natural gas to Moldova as it had threatened to do after claiming that bills went unpaid and that flows crossing through Ukraine were not making it to Moldova. Gazprom tweeted that Moldovagaz has “eliminated the violation of payment” for […]
1 day ago
Mauna Loa is seen from the Gilbert Kahele Recreation Area off Saddle Road on the Big Island of Hawa...
Associated Press

Hawaii’s Mauna Loa starts to erupt, sending ash nearby

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii’s Mauna Loa, the world’s largest active volcano, has started to erupt, prompting volcanic ash and debris to fall nearby, authorities said Monday. The eruption began late Sunday night in the summit caldera of the volcano on the Big Island, the U.S. Geological Survey said. Early Monday, it said lava flows were […]
1 day ago
FILE - This image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) sho...
Associated Press

WHO renames monkeypox as mpox, citing racism concerns

LONDON (AP) — The World Health Organization has renamed monkeypox as mpox, citing concerns the original name of the decades-old animal disease could be construed as discriminatory and racist. The U.N. health agency said in a statement Monday that mpox was its new preferred name for monkeypox, saying that both monkeypox and mpox would be […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Kimberly Palmer: Holiday survival tips from 5 financial pros

For Ryan Decker, surviving the holiday shopping season is all about planning ahead. In fact, if he sees a gift for one of his two young sons in March, he’ll go ahead and buy it, instead of rushing through his shopping list in December. “It very much eases the burden,” he says, making his December […]
1 day ago
Elderly residents are evacuated by a local organization from the southern city of Kherson, Ukraine,...
Associated Press

Ukraine on edge for more attacks, West eyes humanitarian aid

KYIV (AP) — Ukraine prepared for more Russian strikes on Monday and warned of the possibility for a new round of evacuations from the capital during a relative lull from the airstrikes on energy facilities and other key infrastructure in recent weeks. In the West, meanwhile, preparations were stepped up to boost humanitarian aid to […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Smallest German governing party stalls on citizenship reform

BERLIN (AP) — Senior members of the smallest party in Germany’s coalition government are seeking to hit the brakes on plans to ease the rules for obtaining German citizenship, arguing Monday that the government must first do more to ensure that people who are in the country illegally are deported. Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Interior […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles


Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
Nairobi police say Pakistani journalist killed by mistake