On the morning of October 24, Kenyan police opened fire and killed Arshad Sahid, a well-known Pakistani journalist, at a checkpoint 30km from the capital, Nairobi. The circumstances of the incident are still uncertain, with the police having made contradictory statements about it. The official version reported by the Kenyan police and government, claims that the reporter was killed for a person exchange.

Sahif was an opponent of the government of Shehbaz Sharif (his namesake), and an open supporter of Imran Khan, Pakistani prime minister until April of this year, when parliament took away his trust. Sahif had made several enemies, with his program banned from the country, as he had said that the military was involved with the change of Pakistani government. He had also left the country on the advice of Khan himself, who claims to have heard about plots against the journalist already at the beginning of the year.

In Pakistan, government opponents, in the history of the person exchange, do not believe at all. They believe that, even if the operation took place in Kenya, it would have been planned in Pakistan.

There are specific details on which the task force with members from both countries, set up to clarify what happened and conduct the investigations, should dwell on. First, the person exchange would be about a stolen car, but model and shape would be completely different from those in which the journalist was traveling. Secondly, many wonder why the police were aiming at human height, instead of attempting to drill the wheels and stop the vehicle’s gear.

This relates to the divergent versions given by law enforcement. At first, police had stated that shots had initially been exploded from the vehicle, to which the police would then respond by opening fire in turn. In the official version, however, the reason would be that the car where the journalist was traveling had not stopped at the checkpoint.

In a context of turmoil in Pakistan over the death of the journalist, the government of which Sahif was an opponent expressed its willingness to ascertain the causes of death, in a joint operation with a special department of Kenyan law enforcement.


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