Wednesday September 22, 2021

Defamation suit: Shehbaz offered money through third person, says PM

July 29, 2021

LAHORE: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday submitted his reply in a defamation suit filed against him by Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif.

In his replay submitted through counsel Barrister Ali Zafar, he said a man, Omar Farooq, approached him (Imran Khan) with an offer that if he (IK) stopped following the Panama Leaks, he was ready to pay him a large sum of money. He said that the reputation of Shehbaz Sharif may have been affected not because of his statement but owing to some other reason(s). He said the allegations of Shehbaz Sharif do not fall under the claim of defamation. He said not even a single notice was served on him within 60 days after his statement. He said that Shehbaz Sharif has been a political opponent for two decades. Moreover, he said Shehbaz Sharif have made many statements to defame him, he said.

He said that Shehbaz Sharif wants to drag political issues to the courts. His claim was false, baseless and full of distorted facts and it should be dismissed with fine and counsel fee should be collected from the opposition leader, the reply concluded.

In 2017, Shehbaz Sharif had sent a Rs10 billion defamation notice to then PTI chairman Imran Khan under sections 4 and 9 of the Defamation Ordinance, 2002, stating that Imran had falsely accused Shehbaz of making him a financial offer for his ‘silence over the Panama Papers case’.

Meanwhile, PMLN Information Secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb has asked Imran Khan to apologize to the nation for requesting the court to dismiss a defamation suit filed against him by PMLN President Shehbaz Sharif.In a statement on Wednesday, she said that after the failure of the NAB-Niazi alliance in all courts, Imran is now personally intervening to get cases against him annulled. This, she said, is the true face of Imran’s politics. She said such pleas won’t work and urged the court to punish Imran for lying about Shehbaz offering him money to stay mum on the Panama issue. He should apologize to the nation and should not have any doubt in his mind that the PMLN would not let him dodge the nation over this. Imran must answer and be held accountable for defaming political opponents, she said and added that the court shouldn’t accept his plea and should punish him. This is just the start, Imran would eventually try to withdraw every charge against him. Imran should tender a public apology just like he accused Shehbaz publicly. This plea is an open confession by Imran that he lied about the whole thing. She said that by the grace of God Almighty, Shehbaz has been vindicated with this plea. Marriyum said Imran had failed to give a single argument in his favour for the past two years.