The murder of Pakistani journalist Arshad Sharif has put the country in the global spotlight. More so, the current Shehbaz Sharif government, which he criticized for its pro-military outlook.
As per a report in the BBC, Arshad Sharif was a backer of former Prime Minister Imran Khan and a critic of the military and had made many enemies. Before he left Pakistan he faced possible sedition charges and his TV program was banned after suggesting that the military was involved in the removal of Mr. Khan in April.
Accusations about his killing have been flying around with various figures calling press conferences to air their theories. Faisal Vawda, a one-time minister in Mr. Khan’s government, alleged that though Sharif was killed in Kenya, the plan was hatched in Pakistan – though not by establishment figures – and that he had the evidence to prove it.
Former Prime Minister, Imran Khan himself said he had learned about a plot to kill Sharif earlier in the year and had then suggested he leave Pakistan. Sharif left Pakistan in August and had been in the United Arab Emirates and possibly the UK.
And in a highly unusual move, the head of the country’s military intelligence, Lt Gen Nadeem Ahmed Anjum, addressed journalists and named a whole series of people – including senior media figures – who knew about Sharif’s movements and may somehow have been connected to his death. He added that the military was not threatening his life.
Before his untimely demise, renowned Arshad Sharif was working on an explosive investigative documentary on corruption titled ‘Behind Closed Doors’ that featured celebrated Kenyan investigative journalist John Allan Namu.
It was reported by a Pakistan publication that he had left Pakistan in August and was running his own YouTube channel when he appeared in the trailer of the documentary.
The nearly two-minute-long cinematic trailer, which appeared as the prologue of a documentary, has been making rounds on the internet since its release. The documentary, which revolves around alleged corruption by ruling party leaders, depicts how politicians used the international financial system and offshore jurisdictions to launder their ill-gotten wealth.
The documentary trailer opens up with Kenyan journalist John-Allan Namu saying, “How it has been described is that there has been one rule for the elite especially the elite that is connected to power and other for everybody else, I think I will leave it at that.”
In the trailer, Arshad Sharif is heard saying, “Accounts were opened in the name of these low-level low-wage employees who do not come into the tax net. Money used to be deposited in those accounts and finally, they used to land in the accounts of either Mr. Hamza Shahbaz, Mr. Salman Shahbaz, or Mr. Shehbaz Sharif himself. They said people used to come with gunmen into the banks.”
Irfan Hashmi calls London the second ‘house of Sharifs’. Another journalist also calls London “a money launderer’s paradise.”
Only time will tell if the documentary will finally make its way to OTT platforms for people to be able to watch it. But the scare it has already created cost the life of one of the most renowned journalists from Pakistan, Arshad Sharif.
May he rest in peace and may his efforts to speak the truth be successful.
Not competent enough to sit idle and stare as the world goes by, Pallavi is optimistic to a fault and believes in building her world on her own rather than depending on others to make things right.