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Local Court issued non-bailable arrest warrants for banned anchor Dr. Shahid Masood

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News Analysis |

A local court has issued non-bailable arrest warrants for the currently banned television anchor, Dr. Shahid Masood, on 1st June, 2018. The arrest warrants were issued by a senior Civil Judge Aamir Aziz on charges framed by the Federal Investigation Agency, (FIA) regarding the alleged embezzlement to the tune of Rs 30.8 million by the anchorperson who had served as Chairman Pakistan Television.

Dr. Masood is accused of deliberately signing an agreement with a fake company to obtain media rights for the Pakistan Cricket Board.

The TV channel had to face a heavy loss due to the agreement, alleges the FIA. The FIA Investigation Officer (IO) Kashir Riaz Awan has also claimed in a request submitted to the court that Dr. Masood has been asked several times to appear before the team. “However, he deliberately avoided to join the investigation,” the request read.  The document has further confirmed that there was “sufficient incriminating evidence” on record to “effect the arrest of the titled accused.”

Read more: Dr. Shahid Masood’s claims about Zainab’s murderer prove false

Dr. Shahid Masood’s Reaction

Dr. Masood took to Twitter to respond to the development. In a tweet he said, “[T]hanks, only this was left.” He was referring to a three-month ban on him by the CJP after he could not prove what he said in his TV show.

CJP Banned Dr. Shahid Masood

The Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar banned Dr. Shahid Masood from appearing on TV for a three-month period on March 20th.

Dr. Masood was banned after his claims, regarding  the ownership of 37 bank accounts by Zainab’s murderer –  which hinted the presence of on an international pornographic ring in Pakistan – were found to be “unfounded and baseless” by the JIT.

Dr. Masood had made some very shocking claims in the pretext of rape and murder of the eight-year-old, Zainab, who belonged to the Kasur district of Punjab.

Read more: Supreme Court bans Shahid Masood for three months

The situation got worse when Masood sought the intervention of the top judge to look into the matter, following which he appeared before the apex court. However, he failed to substantiate his claims in successive hearings.

When the CJP banned the anchorperson from appearing on TV, he also said the court has not given the murderer death sentence as was proposed by him. “Maybe you take the courts lightly. This is not the old judiciary,” the chief justice remarked while giving the verdict of the court.

Corruption Allegations against Dr. Masood

The FIA, NAB and judiciary are active institutions these days. Dr. Shahid Masood, who had refused to appear before the FIA team to complete the investigation, did not expect the institution to take such measures.

The role of Dr. Masood in the alleged corruption case has still not been determined, but his refusals to appear before the FIA team gives rise to suspicions.

The Pakistan Television works under the government, whether it is civilian or military. Nepotism and corruption have damaged the grace and credibility of the state-owned TV channel in Pakistan. It is proposed by many analysts and scholars that there should be an independent board of directors to regulate the affairs of PTV. It will give the channel some credibility and grace to gain the confidence of taxpayers.