Govt to fully support Dr Shahid Masood’s bail plea, says Naeem | Pakistan Today

Govt to fully support Dr Shahid Masood’s bail plea, says Naeem

PM’s Special Assistant Naeem ul Haq has said that the government will fully support TV anchorperson Dr Shahid Masood’s plea to the Supreme Court for bail.

In a tweet, Naeemul Haq said that the journalist in trouble over corruption allegations during his tenure as managing director and chairman of Pakistan Television (PTV) had already been cleared by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). He went on to say that Dr Masood was still in jail even though March 1 had been set as the date for framing charges against him by the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

“Dr Shahid Masud who has been cleared of any financial wrongdoing by FIA is still in jail after today’s hearing and a date of 1 st March has been fixed for framing charges against him by judge in Islamabad. The govt will fully support Shahids bail in Supreme Court next week” read the tweet by the PM’s special assistant.

During his time as an anchorperson, Dr Masood was generally considered to have a pro-PTI stance and was an admirer of current Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Dr Shahid Masood had been arrested back in November by the FIA in a case regarding embezzlement of Rs38 million during his tenure as PTV chairman. In December, IHC Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiani had thrown out Dr Masood’s bail play, after which he appealed to the Supreme Court.

In his petition, the anchorperson stated that he was being targeted for his criticism of the government institutions. “My blunt analysis has always made me a target of governmental institutions,” he stated. Masood further added that the case had been shut down by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in the past and then reopened in 2015. “Suspects Kashif Rabbani, Fawad Shabbir and Roshan Gilani are all facing trial and have also started paying back the embezzled amount,” he added.

Dr Masood, in his petition to the apex court, added that IHC had rejected his bail without paying any heed to the facts of the case as his name was not included in the first investigation report (FIR) of the case.

Masood is accused of involvement in the embezzlement of Rs37 million in acquiring Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) media rights in 2008 during his tenure as the managing editor and chairman of the state-run broadcaster. Reportedly, the agreement was carried out with a fake company — M/s International Sports Solution (ISS) and the investigators claim that funds were also released, causing the loss of millions of dollars to PTV as the state-run broadcaster failed to acquire PCB media rights from 2008 to 2013.

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