The Supreme Court on Thursday summoned television anchor Shahid Masood to provide clarity on revelations he made during a late night show regarding the suspect in the rape and murder case of six-year-old Zainab Amin and other children in Kasur.
Masood, in his show, had alleged that Zainab’s suspected rapist and murderer was a member of a pornography gang which also includes a Punjab minister.
Masood and Punjab additional advocate general Asma Hamid were both present in court during Thursday’s hearing.
Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar advised the anchorperson to write down the names of the provincial minister and another high-up he had mentioned during his show. Masood complied and handed over the names written on a piece of paper to the CJP.
A three-judge bench, headed by the CJP, watched footage of Masood’s TV show in court and advised the Punjab Inspector General of Police Arif Nawaz Khan and a joint investigation team (JIT) to probe the evidence provided by the anchorperson.
Hamid told the court that Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had formed a six-member team after the show was aired.
Masood alleged before the judges that the suspect in custody for the murder of Zainab and other children is not “mentally challenged or simpleminded”, but rather a “member of an international ring”. He has 37 foreign currency bank accounts, and the backing of the country’s most important personality and a minister, the anchorperson told the court.
The Kasur incident has come under discussion all over the world, and the CJP, army chief, prime minister and other top officials should ensure the matter is investigated, Masood said.
The anchorperson raised concerns over the security of the suspect, saying he feared the possibility that he would be killed in police custody. He asked that the suspect be kept in the custody of an intelligence agency.
“The matter of the suspect’s security is very important,” the CJP said, adding that the responsibility to ensure his security in police custody is the IGP’s. “The suspect’s security should be foolproof,” the CJP asserted.
The court asked Masood to provide details regarding the evidence he had, to which the television personality said he had submitted the details of the suspect’s 37 bank accounts to the court.
The court also asked him to provide the names of the important personalities involved in the case, assuring Masood they would be kept secret until the investigation is complete.
“If these accusations are incorrect, it will not be good,” the CJP warned.
The case was adjourned until Monday.
Following the hearing today, DawnNews obtained a notification issued by the provincial Home Department which says two new members will be added to the existing JIT probing the case in light of revelations presented in court. The two new members will be a senior officer of the State Bank of Pakistan and a director of the Punjab Forensic Science Agency (PFSA).
Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif on Tuesday had addressed a press conference in Lahore to formally announce the arrest of a key suspectin the Zainab rape and murder case.
The suspect, based in Kasur, is accused of being a serial killer who raped and murdered 6-7 girls over the course of two years. Zainab’s case sparked widespread outrage across the country and on social media when her body was recovered from a trash heap in Kasur on Jan 9, five days after she went missing from home.