Zainab murder case: Dr Shahid Masood gives up battle against inquiry committee's findings -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Zainab murder case: Dr Shahid Masood gives up battle against inquiry committee’s findings

Pakistan Press Foundation

ISLAMABAD: Senior anchorperson Dr Shahid Masood has expressed regret over making allegations that have been proved wrong regarding the rapist and murderer of seven-year-old Zainab.

He has submitted a reply to the apex court, expressing remorse over the inconvenience caused to the judiciary and others by him.

Masood has also decided not to contest the inquiry committee report that rubbished the allegations he made in his TV programme about Zainab’s killer, Imran Ali, and the murder investigation.

The anchorperson stated that the court selected the inquiry committee’s members on its own that is why he could not “comment on the veracity of its findings” regarding his allegations against Imran Ali being associated with an international child pornography ring. The reply has been filed through Shah Khawar advocate.

“Whatever the inquiry committee has concluded, I do not contest and refute,” the senior anchorperson said. He added that he would “observe due diligence and care before making any such statements”.

The reply further stated that since this incident was reported, Masood not only being an anchor but also a father was very concerned and emotionally upset, adding that it was his personal knowledge that there was an international racket dealing with live violent child pornography that is telecast on the dark web.

“I also came across some information regarding the existence of certain bank accounts, which prompted me to form my opinion that the accused is a member of an international racket involved in such heinous crimes,” says the reply.

The reply added that with all this sensitivity and emotional distress, the anchorperson appeared in his TV show on the fateful evening [of January 24], and claimed that the convict was part of an international racket and held 37 bank accounts.

Following his statements, the Supreme Court summoned him to explain the claims he had made regarding the murder investigation as well as the convict. Masood then appeared in the court and claimed that influential people, including a federal minister, were backing Ali.

Furthermore, the senior anchorperson expressed concerns over the safety of the accused, saying he might be killed in the police custody.

After the hearing, an investigation committee led by the FIA DG was set up to investigate the claims Masood had made. However, the committee found no truth in them.

In its report issued on March 1, the committee rejected Masood’s claim that Ali had links with any international child pornography ring. It further stated that neither did Ali have 37 bank accounts nor had he contacts with any influential people such as a federal minister.

Following the inquiry committee’s report, Masood tendered an apology on March 7 to the Supreme Court (SC) for not presenting evidence for his claims, but the court rejected his apology as well as closed the suo moto case.

The Express Tribune

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