Pakistani journalist Arshad Sharif shot dead in Kenya was victim of 'target killing', interior minister says

A Pakistani journalist shot dead last month was the victim of a "target killing", the country's interior minister has said.

Arshad Sharif, a vocal critic of the Pakistani military, died near the Kenyan capital of Nairobi after his car was shot at by police on 23 October.

Rana Sanaullah, the interior minister, said: "Arshad Sharif's death is not a case of mistaken identity - I can say, and, on the evidence we have so far, this prima facie is a target killing.

"We still need to obtain more [evidence] to confirm all this... and we have asked the Kenyan government for more data."

An initial police report said his death was a case of "mistaken identity" but a later contradictory account from officers claimed his vehicle drove through a roadblock and the officers who fired the shots were looking for car thieves at the time.

The 49-year-old was a key supporter of Imran Khan, who was ousted as the prime minister of Pakistan in April.

When he travelled to Kenya is unknown, but he left Pakistan in August having complained about being harassed.

His lawyer said he had spent time in the UAE before then, from where the Pakistani authorities sought his extradition.

After his death, Mr Khan claimed he knew of a plot to kill Mr Arshad and that he had advised him to flee the country.

Thousands of mourners attended his funeral in Islamabad and there have been widespread protests over the circumstances of his death.

Faced sedition charges

He was facing possible sedition charges in his home country after his TV show was banned over claims the military was involved in Mr Khan's ousting.

Mr Khan was shot in the leg in what his supporters claim was "assassination attempt" last week as he spoke at a rally.

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The journalist's death comes after nine Kenyan police officers were arrested in relation to the disappearance of two Indians and their driver in July.

Concerns have been raised internationally about the formally disbanded Special Services Unit of the Kenyan Police, which has been accused of extrajudicial killings and torture.