Mashhood bribe case committee meets after 11 days delay

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The committee formed by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to probe the video, allegedly showing Punjab Law Minister Rana Mashhood taking bribe from a human smuggler in the year 2012, held its first meeting on Tuesday – three days past the deadline of report submission.

Raja Ashfaq Sarwar of the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) had ordered a committee, comprising Raja Zafarul Haq, Senator Rafiq Rajwana and Zakia Shahnawaz on August 14 after orders from the chief minister.

Mashhood, then the deputy speaker of the Punjab Assembly, was allegedly seen accepting bribe in a video highlighted by the media and then widely circulated and criticised on the social media as well. The person shown in the video offering money is Amir Malik, who was the owner of Future Concerns, an organisation which was blacklisted for its involvement in human trafficking and immigration fraud.

Interestingly, both Malik and his wife escaped to the UK despite their names being on the Exit Control List. Now the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has sought red warrants from the Interpol for their arrest.

Talking to Pakistan Today, head of the probe committee Raja Zafarul Haq said that Mashhood was not feeling well being a patient of hypertension, and hence he could not show up in the meeting held yesterday.

“His brother however came over and presented the committee with the material, which the committee members will take into account,” he added.

To a question, Haq said nothing could be said about the timeline of the final report, but it will be made public once it is complete.

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