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Monday May 27, 2024

Murder allegations: Asif Ali Zardari sends Rs10bn defamation notice to Imran Khan

Legal notice has been sent to PTI chief for levelling “baseless allegations” against former president Asif Ali Zardari

By Waqar Satti
January 30, 2023
Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari (L) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan. — AFP/File
Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari (L) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan. — AFP/File

Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) today sent an Rs10 billion defamation notice to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan for levelling “baseless allegations” against former president Asif Ali Zardari.

The development comes days after Khan alleged that PPP co-chairman Zardari was hatching as well as financing an assassination plot against him for which the ex-president had hired terrorists.

“The statements made by you [Khan] have caused great harm and hurt to the sentiments of the members of Pakistan Peoples Party which are not only in Pakistan but all over the world thereby damaging and defaming their reputation,” the notice sent via courier on behalf of Zardari read.

The notice contends that the PTI chief through his "defamatory, libelous, scandalous" remarks tried to create a link between Zardari and terrorist organisations "blindly disregarding the fact that our client and his party has remained the victim of terrorism".

The notice also reads that the PTI chief through his "defamatory actions" caused "severe agony, mental stress and loss of reputation" to the PPP co-chairperson.

"You are, therefore, hereby called upon to render unconditional apology from our client, on television, print and social media, within 14 (fourteen) days from the receipt of this notice, failing whereof, our client shall be constrained to institute appropriate legal proceedings against you, civil as well as criminal, before the competent Courts of law and forums of Pakistan as well as of England, including but not limited to Suit for Damages for Rs10,000,000,000/- (Rupees ten billion only) at your risk as to cost and consequences," the notice read. 

“[…] You in your video link address stated that “Asif Zardari has paid his corruption money to a terrorist organisation being supported by powerful state agency facilitators to launch another attack on me. Moreover [,] you also included our client in four people who are allegedly plotting to assassinate you. Your aforementioned statements are being highly reported on print and social media and the same are also being broadcasted globally including in England,” the defamation notice read.

In a virtual press conference on January 27 Khan — who was ousted as the prime minister in April last year — claimed four people orchestrated a plan "behind closed doors" to assassinate him.

Khan alleged that now that the Wazirabad attack had failed, another plan was afoot. “Asif Zardari is behind it. He has amassed a lot of money through corruption and he has invested that money in terrorists and hired a militant organisation.”

Khan also claimed that “agencies” were involved in this plot.