The recent arrest of Dr Shahid Masood by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) comes as no surprise. It will be recalled that he was appointed as PTV chairman, and currently stands accused of corruption related to that appointment to the value of Rs37 million.
He had absconded in October 2018 from a court in Islamabad after it rejected his bail application in the corruption case, with the court presumably deeming him a flight risk. His arrest on Friday 23rd November was from the premises of the Islamabad High Court and at the time of writing he is still in custody.
As the world moves onwards into the morass of fake news Shahid Masood is one of those people who thus far has led something of a charmed life considering the monstrous falsehoods and fakery he has propagated.
Truth and honesty are not in his playbook, but he plumbed the depths with the Zainab case, where a child aged 6 was raped and murdered by a man who, it transpired, had killed 12 other children. It was alleged that the accused was part of an international paedophile ring, that he had connections and friends in high places including a minister of state, and 37 bank accounts.
His assertions did much to impede the hunt for the killer as they had to be investigated. They were and found to be completely false, not a word of truth in any of them yet he had fed his lies to law enforcers and a credulous public many of whom believed him at the time. There was no evidence to support his claims but the damage was done.
Imran Ali was hanged for the murder of Zainab in February this year. He was convicted on overwhelming forensic evidence and his own admission of guilt. It is reported that he went to his death unrepentant.
Lying about a murder does not feature in the current case against Masood, instead it is a massive fraud involving a broadcast rights agreement and a fake company. There is much legalese and ducking and diving by Masood legal team, and we cannot preempt and finding by a future court but Masood is at the very least a man of questionable character and unworthy of any position or power and authority within the institutions of state, PTV being one of those.
In the context of truth and honesty it is worth reminding ourselves that once his lies about the Zainab case had been exposed he adopted a position of faux contrition, and he tendered an apology to the Supreme Court on March 7th which the court in its wisdom rejected, seeing him for the lying charlatan that he is
Whatever the outcome of the case Shahid Masood should be deprived at every juncture of the oxygen of publicity, and never again occupy a salaried position in any government or state entity. He is, of course, free to say whatever he wants in his defence, as are his supporters, but the state needs to wash its hands of this deceptive and odious man beyond seeing through due process of law. We await developments.