Revealed: Pakistani journalist was with six Americans hours before his death
The owner of the shooting range where Pakistani journalist Arshad Sharif spent time on the day he was shot and killed has been questioned about the identity of a group of Americans who were training at his facility.
Detectives attached to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) on Thursday interviewed Waqar Ahmed.
It has emerged that Mr Ahmed contacted the Canadian High Commission and sought protection after he was listed among the persons of interest in the death of the journalist, who was allegedly shot by officers attached to the General Service Unit (GSU). Mr Sharif died on October 23, 2022.
A detective privy to the investigations told the Nation that in his statement, Mr Ahmed said he and Mr Sharif had attended a party in a bush within his joint, AmmoDump Kwenia, located in Kajiado West, Kajiado county.
“On the night he was shot dead, he was part of 12 people who attended a party within the joint. The party was conducted within the bush in the joint and was attended by six American nationals who were commanders of a larger team that was within the camp,” said the officer who spoke in confidence as he is not authorised to address the media.
Mr Ahmed and his family, and his brother, Khurram Ahmed, are at the centre of Mr Sharif’s murder investigations as they hosted him after he fled his home country and ended up in Kenya after falling out with officials in the Pakistani government.
Investigators are also searching for the firearm that was used to shoot at a police officer who has been identified as Kevin Kimuyu.
“We are still asking where the firearm that was used to shoot at an officer who was among those that stopped the motor vehicle in which the journalist was, is,” said our source.
Four officers – an inspector, a superintendent, a constable, and a corporal – were said to have been manning a roadblock when the vehicle carrying the journalist was flagged down. However, Mr Khurram Ahmed, who was driving, defied the orders and sped off.
The police source said only the constable and the corporal shot at the vehicle but when it sped off they decided to rush Mr Kimuyu to a clinic located at the GSU Training School in Magadi, Kajiado county.
“It will also be interesting to find out how the Americans managed to get to the joint and on whose jurisdiction they have been training at the camp. Such plans usually have an agreement between the governments concerned,” said the officer.
Elsewhere, a team of investigators formed by the Pakistani government is in Qatar to try to find out why he left the country for Kenya.
The team, which includes Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Director Athar Wahid and Intelligence Bureau (IB) Deputy Director General Omar Shahid Hamid, sent a letter to Mr Waqar Ahmed and Mr Khurram Ahmed, asking for CCTV footage of where Mr Sharif lived. However, they are yet to receive the information.
The team also wanted to know the contact details of the people who were at AmmoDump Kwenia the day Mr Sharif died.
They want to know the details of the organisation the US trainers and instructors belong to and the people who visited Mr Sharif during the two months he was in the country. In addition, they want to know where his iPad and cell phones are since they were last seen in the possession of Mr Waqar Ahmed.
In his statement to the police in Kenya, he said that he handed over the mobile phone and iPad to an intelligence officer who was at the joint after the journalist died. He did not identify the officer.
Two weeks ago, the brothers were questioned by the team from Pakistan and assured the officers that they would fully cooperate.
Yesterday, Mr Sharif’s family wrote to Pakistani President Arif-ur-Rehman Alvi, asking him to assist them to get officials of the United Nations (UN) to investigate the death of the journalist.
His widow, Javeria Siddique, also requested the Head of State to ensure a thorough probe is conducted to ascertain what transpired on the day Mr Sharif died.
“Kindly, help us in approaching the Supreme Court of Pakistan to form a judicial commission to help hold a transparent inquiry into the brutal murder of my late husband,” the letter read in part.
She said the death had many “dispensaries, anomalies and contradictions in the initial investigations that have forced the family to categorically reject the commission formed by the government of Pakistan to investigate the cold-blood murder”.