Thursday Mar 01, 2018
ISLAMABAD: The joint investigation team (JIT) probing TV anchorperson Dr Shahid Masood's claims regarding the Zainab murder case convict submitted its report to the Supreme Court on Thursday and dismissed all the allegations.
Zainab was kidnapped on January 4 in Kasur and found dead five days later from a garbage pile. The post-mortem revealed Zainab had been raped. Later, the authorities succeeded in nabbing the suspect, Imran. He has since been sentenced to death by the trial court.
In a TV show on Jan 25, Dr Masood had claimed the convict had links with an influential figure and was part of an international ring. The chief justice had taken notice of the claims and sought a subsequent inquiry.
Submitting its report in the apex court today, the JIT has declared baseless all of the 18 allegations levelled by the anchorperson.
The JIT report states that no proof was found of the convict's connection with an influential person or that he was being patronised by a federal minister.
It also states that no links of the convict with an international mafia or a serving federal minister were found.
Similarly, no proof was found that the convict could be killed while in police custody or that violent crime/child pornography is common in Kasur.
Moreover, the JIT did not find any truth to Dr Masood's claims that many gangs are involved in violent crime/child pornography in Pakistan or that Imran was an active member of such gangs.
Allegations that the convict's bank accounts were spread throughout Pakistan or that he received payments from abroad for crimes were also proven to be false.
Additionally, claims that Imran sent Zainab’s picture to international viewers before committing the crime, or that the incident was viewed live via the internet, were found to be false, with an observation by the JIT members that no evidence of Imran ever accessing the Dark Web or internet have been found.
Moreover, no proof was found that Dr Masood handed the name of an influential figure linked to the convict to the Supreme Court, nor was there any truth found about the claim that a close friend of the influential figure living abroad communicated information about the role of influential figure in violent crime/child pornography in Pakistan.
The report also reveals that the rejection of the convict's multiple bank accounts had already been issued by the relevant authority.
On Jan 28 in Lahore, a three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar took up the anchorperson's allegations.
"You said there is evidence of 37 accounts, please present it," the chief justice had asked the anchorperson.
"There’s a coverup," claimed the anchorperson, and asked the court to inquire from the police where the victim was kept before being killed.
Failing to present a satisfying reply and questioning the chief justice's own practices instead, the anchorperson was admonished for levelling baseless allegations.
The court then ordered the formation of a JIT, headed by Federal Investigation Agency Director General Bashir Memon, to investigate the anchorperson's claims.
Other members of the JIT included Intelligence Bureau Joint DG Anwar Ali and Islamabad Police's Assistant Inspector General (Operations) Asmatullah Junejo.