A Pakistani journalist shot dead last month has been the victim of a “targeted assassination”, the country’s interior minister has said.

Arshad Sharif, a vocal critic of the Pakistani military, died near Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, after his car was shot at by police on October 23.

Rana Sanaullah, Home Minister, said: “Arshad Sharif’s death is not a case of mistaken identity – I can say that, and from the evidence we have so far present, this prima facie is targeted killing.

“We still need to get more [evidence] to confirm all of this…and we have asked the Kenyan government for more data.”

An initial police report said his death was a case of “mistaken identity”, but a later conflicting account from officers claimed that his vehicle drove through a roadblock and that the officers who fired the shots fire were looking for car thieves at the time.

The 49-year-old was a key supporter of Imran Khanwho was ousted as Prime Minister of Pakistan in April.

It is not known when he visited Kenya, but he left Pakistan in August after complaining of being harassed.

His lawyer said he had previously spent time in the United Arab Emirates, from where Pakistani authorities requested his extradition.

After his death, Mr Khan claimed he knew of a plot to kill Mr Arshad and advised him to flee the country.

Thousands of mourners attended his funeral in Islamabad and the circumstances of his death sparked widespread protests.

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Mourners at Mr Sharif’s funeral in Islamabad

Faces sedition charges

He was facing possible sedition charges in his home country after his TV show was banned over allegations the military was involved in Mr Khan’s ouster.

Mr Khan was shot in the leg in what his supporters claim was “assassination attemptlast week while speaking at a rally.

Read more:
‘Is he dead?’: Sky reporter on the spot as ex-PM shot dead

The journalist’s death comes after nine Kenyan police officers were arrested in connection with the disappearance of two Indians and their driver in July.

Concerns have been raised internationally over the officially disbanded Kenya Police Special Services Unit, which has been accused of extrajudicial killings and torture.

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