Both Sophia and Mariam have been living in London for the last several months after cases were registered against them in Pakistan

LONDON: The Pakistan government has issued Interpol red notices against former model and actress Sophia Mirza (Khushbakht Mirza) and her sister Mariam Mirza.

Both Sophia and Mariam have been living in London for the last several months after cases were registered against them in Pakistan by Umar Farooq Zahoor, the Dubai-based businessman who has two teenage daughters with Sophia Mirza and both have been in a long-running dispute over the children’s custody.

The Red Notices have been issued by the Ministry of Interior through the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), issuance of Red Notices against the accused (fugitives) – against Sophia Mirza under Notice number 2023/66146 and Mariam Mirza under notice number 2023/66156.

The FIA’s relevant director writes in the notice: “I am directed to convey approval of the competent authority i.e. Special Secretary, MOI for the issuance of red notices against the accused persons namely Khushbakht Mirza and Mariam Mirza involved in FIR No.156/23, dated 17.05.2023 u/s 420/468/471/385/386/389/500/506 PPC, Police Station Secretariat, District Islamabad.” The FIA’s notice adds: “It is requested that Secretary General, INTERPOL Secretariat, Lyon, France may please be requested for the issuance of Red Notices against the accused Khushbakht Mirza and Mariam Mirza to arrest them through INTERPOL.”

The Red Notice for Interpol relate to a criminal complaint Zahoor registered in May in Islamabad against the former accountability minister Shehzad Akbar, model Sophia Mirza, her tennis player sister Mariam Mirza and others for registering false and vindictive cases against him in the summer of 2020 – when Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) was in power. The complaint was registered under Sections 420, 468, 471, 385, 386, 389, 500 and 506 of PPC 1860, for cheating, preparation of forged documents, extortion of money, defamation and criminal intimidation.

As per the story of FIR, an inquiry No. 72/20 against Umar Farooq Zahoor and others was initiated by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Corporate Crime Circle (CCC) Lahore in May 2020 by treating an application submitted by his ex-wife Khushbakht Mirza as a source report. It further revealed that the persons nominated in FIR acted in connivance to extort money from Umar Farooq Zahoor by registration of false cases against him at FIA Corporate Crime Circle Lahore.

The FIR application in particular mentions the role of Shehzad Akbar who used the cabinet to run a campaign against Umar Farooq Zahoor. The FIR says: “After the registration of the aforesaid criminal cases, Shehzad Akbar the then Special Adviser to Prime Minister (PM) on Accountability, for illegal monetary gains, fraudulently obtained approval from the Cabinet under Section 188 CrPC 1898 by concealing the fact that the cases have already been closed at Switzerland and Norway. Sophia Mirza, when contacted, said she was not aware about the red notices issued by the Interior Ministry of Pakistan.

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