Pakistan court issues notice to Imran Khan in Shahbaz Sharif's defamation case
The Pakistani Prime Minister has been asked to submit his written response by June 10. PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said: "I challenge Imran Khan to answer in court over his allegation of Rs. 10 billion hush money offered by Shehbaz Sharif to him.” She further added that if he fails to respond, Khan will be “officially stamped” as a "liar" and will no longer be morally eligible to hold the office of the Prime Minister of Pakistan.
Pakistan court issues notice to Imran Khan in defamation case
Troubles for Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan might be brewing. A Pakistani court has issued a notice to PM Khan in a defamation case filed by Shahbaz Sharif.
The petitioner, the President of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), has sought an early hearing of the suit against Khan. The defamation suit against the chairman of Pakistan's Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is pending for the past three years.
Pakistan’s PM Khan, in April 2017, had alleged that Shahbaz offered him USD 61 million through a “common friend” to withdraw the Panama Papers case in the Supreme Court against 70-year-old former PM Nawaz Sharif.
Shahbaz Sharif is Nawaz Sharif’s younger brother and has taken the reigns of the PML-N after the former Pakistan Prime Minister was jailed in a corruption case. He was disqualified as Prime Minister in 2017 by the Supreme Court with regards to the Panama Papers case.
Three corruption cases - Avenfield properties, Flagship investment and Al-Azizia steel mills - were registered against the Sharif family by the anti-graft body in 2017.
Lahore's Additional District and Sessions Court on Friday took up Shahbaz’s application for early hearing in which he pleaded that PM Khan has failed to file a written reply for the last three years.
“In total 60 hearings, in this case, Khan’s lawyer sought adjournment on 33 occasions. In the last hearing, the court was told that lead counsel advisor to Khan, Babar Awan could not travel from Islamabad to Lahore due to COVID-19 and the court adjourned hearing for June 22,” a counsel for Shahbaz told the court.
Under the law, he said Awan cannot appear before the court to defend PM Khan since he has become his advisor.
In his petition, Shahbaz requested the court to issue a decree for the recovery of USD 61 million as compensation from PM Khan for the publication of defamatory content against him.
The Pakistani Prime Minister has been asked to submit his written response by June 10.
Talking to the media after the court issued the notice to Prime Minister Khan, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said: “Imran will no longer qualify on Article 62, 63 of the Constitution if he fails to submit a response in the Rs 10 billion defamation case. I challenge Imran Khan to answer in court over his allegation of Rs 10 billion hush money offered by Shehbaz Sharif to him.”
She further added that, if on June 10 Imran fails to submit an answer, he will be “officially stamped” as a "liar" and will no longer be morally eligible to hold the office of the Prime Minister of Pakistan.
“Does a liar, incompetent and unqualified person deserve to be the leader of the Pakistani nation?” the PML-N spokesperson asked.