An Islamabad district and sessions court has taken a significant step in the ongoing investigation of the murder of renowned journalist Arshad Sharif. The court has issued non-bailable arrest warrants for Summaiya Arshad, the late journalist’s widow, and Ali Usman, the producer of his program on ARY News.
These warrants were issued due to non-compliance with court summons and the repeated failure of witnesses to appear before the court to record their testimonies.
Summaiyya Arshad, Arshad’s first wife, expressed her shock when she claimed that she had not received a summons from the court. She stated that her knowledge of the arrest warrants came from media reports. She also emphasized that the First Information Report (FIR) regarding her husband’s murder had been registered based on the state’s complaint, not one filed by the family.
Summaiyya Arshad and Arshad Sharif’s daughter shared the shocking news on X (Twitter).
Non bailable arrest warrants have been issued against my mother, Somiya Arshad. Ye kaisa nizam hai jahan mazloom ko hi kataihray main khara kiya ja raha hai#ArshadShareefShaheed #ArshadSharif #SomiyaArshad
— Aleeza Arshad (@aleezasherryy) September 9, 2023
Javeria Siddique, Sharif’s second wife, echoed Summaiya’s denial of receiving any summons from the sessions court. She characterized the situation as victimization, citing her house address being mentioned on social media. She asserted that this was an attempt to silence the family of the slain journalist.
This is victimisation as I never received any summons and but i have seen on social media my house address is mentioned in it. This is harassment and another attempt to silent the family of slain journalist Arshad Sharif. This is a privacy breach why again and again my personal… https://t.co/KIqYT2IeDw
— Javeria Siddique (@javerias) September 9, 2023
ARY News director Ammad Yousaf raised questions about the trial, stating that it was based on an FIR rejected by the family since the beginning. He highlighted that the family had no knowledge of the ongoing trial, having never received any summons from the police or the court. Yousaf emphasized their reluctance to participate in what they perceived as a spurious trial.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) also criticized these recent developments. Meanwhile, former Dawn editor Abbas Nasir expressed his outrage at the situation.
دنیا کے بدترین سسٹم میں بھی یہ مذاق نہیں ہوتا ہو گا جو ڈیڑھ سال سے پاکستان میں ہو رہا ہے-
آج ارشد شریف شہید کے کیس میں ان کی اہلیہ سمیعہ ارشد کے ہی ناقابل ضمانت وارنٹ گرفتاری جاری کر دئیے گئے
اس سے پہلے ریاستی حراست میں تشدد کر کے ظل شاہ کو شہید کر کے اس کا کیس عمران خان اور… pic.twitter.com/RC2qYcpdhy
— PTI (@PTIofficial) September 9, 2023
This is outrageous. Totally nuts. https://t.co/l2l6flr1Wh
— Abbas Nasir (@abbasnasir59) September 9, 2023
This development adds another layer of complexity to the investigation into Arshad Sharif’s tragic murder. Despite the formation of a joint investigation team by the Supreme Court, which included top civil and military officials, there has been no significant breakthrough in the case.
Arshad Sharif, a prominent investigative journalist, tragically lost his life in Kenya last year in an incident believed to be a case of ‘mistaken identity.’ Sharif had been forced to leave Pakistan and was the target of a carefully planned attack.