The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has requested Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to issue an ‘unequivocal directive’ to all regulated media channels to stop airing appearances of former FIA-chief Bashir Memon, who is under investigation for allegedly aiding international financial fugitive Umar Farooq Zahoor.
The FIA has issued the request in an attempt to stop Memon from commenting on the ongoing investigation, according to a letter from the current FIA Lahore director to PEMRA chairman Mohammad Saleem Baig.
“He [Memon] instead of appearing in the investigation proceedings and responding to the questions of the investigation officers exploited this notice to ‘catch media spotlight’, garner sympathy and make sub judice matter controversial,” the letter alleged.
The FIA claimed that Memon’s comments on several talk shows could prejudice the ongoing case in front of the supreme court, which is appraising various federal institutions for failure to detain Zahoor.
“The SC in this petition has taken cognizance of the failure of institutions in enforcing various warrants (arrest of influential fugitive Umer Farooq Zahoor, presently hiding in the UAE, wanted for various international financial frauds, money laundering, etc) despite repeated directions of the apex court,” the FIA said of the pending case.
Bashir Memon is under investigation, along with fellow former FIA-chief Saud Mizra, for allegedly facilitating Omar Farooq Zahoor for various international financial crimes. Zahoor has been a fugitive since 2009 and is wanted by Norway, Switzerland, Turkey and Pakistan.
In early January, Memon claimed in an interview on Geo News’ “Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath,” that the government was engaging in scare tactics and aimed to ‘make an example’ out of him.