ISLAMABAD: Anchorperson Dr Shahid Masood on Thursday handed over to the Supreme Court the names of a provincial minister from Punjab and his influential friend who were allegedly behind the brutal rape and murder of six-year-old Zainab in Kasur.
A three-member Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Ijazul Ahsan directed the Punjab inspector general of police to ensure foolproof security to Imran Ali, a key suspect in Zainab murder case, who is in the police custody. The chief justice observed that the matter of the suspect’s security was very important and held that after the suspect is sent to jail, the inspector general prisons will be responsible of his security.
The court directed the Punjab police chief and the joint investigation team, which is probing the Zainab case, to investigate the revelations/evidences provided by Dr Shahid Masood in his television show against the suspect and submit a report before it in two days.
When the hearing commenced and Dr Shahid Masood along with his counsel Shah Khawar appeared before the court on notice, the chief justice asked him to write down the names of the minister and his friend, who were allegedly behind the murder of minor girl, on a piece of paper and hand over to him. The court assured him that the names provided by him will be kept secret until the investigation is complete.
Shahid Masood then wrote the names on a piece of paper and handed over it to the chief justice through the court staff. The chief justice told Dr Shahid Masood that he was called to the court for clarity on revelations he made during his television show about the detained suspect in the rape and murder case of Zainab and other children in Kasur.
In his television show, Dr Shahid Masood had alleged that the suspect in Zainab rape and murder case was the member of an international pornography gang which also included a minister from Punjab and another high-up.
During the hearing, the court watched the footage of Dr Shahid Masood’s television show. Punjab’s Additional Advocate General Asma Hamid apprised the court that Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had formed a six-member team after the show was aired. She stated that the committee includes the representatives of Intelligence Bureau (IB) and State Bank of Pakistan and it will submit its report on Sunday. The court asked her to provide the CD of Dr Shahid Masood’s programme to the Punjab police chief.
Raising concerns over the suspect’s security, Shahid Masood suggested that he should be kept in the custody of any intelligence agency. To a court query, he said he feared that the suspect might be killed in the police custody. To another query, he said he had provided the details of 37 bank accounts of the suspect to the court, adding that majority of these accounts were in foreign currency.
The chief justice told him that if the accusations made by him were proved to be incorrect, it will not be good. Dr Shahid Masood then stated that he recently went to the Middle East and brought the details of bank accounts of the suspect from there. “We must have to reach to the facts,” the chief justice observed, adding that the whole nation was upset and wanted to know the real facts.
Justice Ijazul Ahsan asked Dr Shahid Masood to submit more evidence about the case if he had any. Later, the court adjourned the hearing till Monday.
Also on Thursday, Chief Justice of Lahore High Court Syed Mansoor Ali Shah ordered anti-terrorism court judge Sajjad Ahmad to hold day-to-day hearing in Zainab case. Through a notification, the CJ directed the ATC to strictly observe and follow the provision of Section 19 (7) & (8) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997. He also directed the ATC to ensure decision of the case within the stipulated period of seven days after taking cognizance of the same by proceedings with the trail on day-to-day basis.
On January 24 the trial court had sent on physical remand accused Imran Ali, the suspected serial killer and rapist of child girls including Zainab Amin into police’ custody for 14 days for further investigation.