Need for a judicious probe

Pakistan had enough of probe commissions, and the general outcome has never been satisfactory, ever

October 26, 2022


S lain journalist and anchor-person Arshad Sharif awaits justice after death. His mysterious shooting reportedly at the hands of Kenyan Police must be thoroughly investigated under an independent commission of jurists with international repute. The somber analyst, who made a mark for himself through his investigative stories, and one who stood for a judicious society with good governance, was a national hero and was adored by millions of people in Pakistan.

His killing and self-exile should be investigated, and the culprits — who trespassed their authority by intimidating and then exterminating an appealing voice of Pakistan — brought to book. A judicial commission announced by the Prime Minister is a step in the right direction, and underscores the importance of minutely probing this national tragedy. Media organisations at home and abroad, as well as civil society bodies, across the world are rallying the cry for ensuring justice. It was, nonetheless, consoling to learn that the Islamabad High Court had directed the government to take the media and journalists’ bodies on board as the probe gets underway.

This is quite reassuring and will keep the heat on such a high-profile case so that it does not end up as a non-starter owing to bureaucratic and flimsy intrigues. It goes without saying that disclosure of facts is a must. The killing should be investigated from all angles, and the judicial commission, of course headed by men of impeccable character, be mandated with unlimited powers to go to any extent and bring under scrutiny all and sundry on whom the shadow of doubt falls. This is how justice should be seen to be done, and no attempt made to cover up the cold-blooded murder.

Pakistan had enough of probe commissions, and the general outcome has never been satisfactory, ever. This tragic incident, and the factors that compelled Arshad Sharif to keep on moving in search of safe havens, must become public. It pertains to civil rights of an individual, and makes a perfect synopsis of political vendetta and intolerance.


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