A top Pakistani news anchor, Arshad Sharif, was shot dead in Kenya, his wife said on Monday, just months after he fled his home country to avoid arrest over sedition charges.
Sharif was a frequent critic of the powerful military establishment and supporter of former Prime Minister, Imran Khan, who was ousted in a parliamentary no-confidence vote in April.
“I lost friend, husband and my favourite journalist today. As per police, he was shot in Kenya,” his wife, Javeria Siddique, tweeted on Monday.
In August, Sharif interviewed senior opposition politician, Shahbaz Gill, who said junior officers in the armed forces should not follow orders that went against “the will of the majority.”
The comment led to the news channel being briefly taken off air and an arrest warrant issued for Sharif, who left the country.
The channel ARY later said it had “cut ties” with him.
Gill was detained following the interview, and Khan’s criticism of the judiciary for the detention led to his court appearances.
The military has ruled Pakistan for several decades of its 75-year history, and criticism of the security establishment has long been seen as a red line.
“ARY anchorperson Arshad Sharif embraced martyrdom after he was shot dead in Kenya. The local police are investigating,” ARY TV tweeted Monday.
Pakistan’s foreign ministry confirmed the incident.
Pakistan is ranked 157 out of 180 countries in a press freedom index compiled by Reporters without Borders, with journalists facing censorship and intimidation.
AFP / Titilayo Kupoliyi