Charges of receiving £100,000 from Shahbaz…
PTI Chairman, Imran Khan’s ex-wife Reham Khan’s yet-to-be-published book has stirred controversy in the country’s political circles and social media is bombarded with hundreds of comments ‘for’ and ‘against’ Ms Khan who is going to launch her book anytime and according to her the book is full of many an interesting and true story of PTI leader’s private and public life.
On Monday, Ms Khan’s legal team, HQM Law Advocates, served notice, a copy of which is available with Pakistan Observer, on TV anchor, artist Hamza Ali Abbasi for levelling serious allegations against their client who “is an international broadcast journalist, film producer, author and head of Reham Khan Foundation.”
These charges, says the notice, include allegations of receiving £100,000 from PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif [for bringing out the book just before elections 2018]. A day earlier, on Sunday, Reham Khan had indicated on social media that she was going to sue Mr Abbasi for launching a baseless campaign against her and for ‘hacking her email account’. It may be mentioned here that Hamza Ali Abbasi who is a staunch supporter of Imran Khan, had in a tweet dated June 1, 2018 claimed having read Reham Khan’s book.
Hamza Ali Abbasi had tweeted “Had a very unfortunate experience of reading a manuscript of Reham Khans book. Here is the summary: IK is the most evil man to walk on the face of this planet. Reham is the most pious righteous (Tahajjud guzaar) woman ever and Shahbaz Sharif is an amazing guy!”
Ms Reham Khan was quick to respond how Hamza Ali Abbasi could have read the book which was not yet published. It was possible only through fraud or theft. She further said Hamza was sending her threatening email since August 2017.
According to the legal notice sent to Hamza Ali Abbasi on Monday, he had been uttering/spreading false defamatory communication, statements online on social, print and electronic media and in public. “You have leveled serious allegations including allegations of her receiving £100,000 from N-League, Shahbaz Sharif. You have also alleged that our client has been in touch with PML-N leader and former Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal,” says the notice.
In the legal notice sent with signatures of Barrister Omer Malik, Yasser Latif Hamdani and Fatima Tu Zara Butt, Mr Abbasi’s attention has been drawn to the fact that Ahsan Iqbal himself had denied the ‘false’ allegations and clarified that he had never been in touch with Ms Reham Khan through email and had never met her except as guest on one of her TV shows.
Furthermore, Reham Khan has never been in touch with any of PML-N member beyond social courtesies, says the notice. The various screenshots of purported emails posted by Hamza through his twitter account are intended to injure and defame our client and amounts to defamation which is actionable both as slander and libel, said the legal notice
The notice also highlighted the fact that Hamza Ali Abbasi himself has admitted in a TV show that he didn’t have any evidence whatsoever to prove his allegations of payment of £100,000 from PML-N, Shahbaz Sharif to Ms Reham Khan. “In the same show, our client was accused of being opposed to Pakistan Army, which is again patently false and an allegation designed to undermine the credibility of our client,” says the legal notice. Reham Khan’s counsels have asked Mr Abbasi that under section 8 of Defamation Ordinance 2002, he is required to tender an unconditional, proper apology to Reham Khan within 14 days of the receipt of the legal notice and get the same published/aired in print, social and electronic media or a legal action will be initiated against him for recovery of Rs5 billion damages under the said ordinance. The notice also cautions Abbasi against any further such false charges. Meanwhile, reacting to the latest development in the controversy surrounding her upcoming autobiography, Reham said she will not tolerate PTI’s baseless allegations.
“I am being bullied but [they] have [chosen] the wrong woman to go after. I will not tolerate baseless allegations by PTI. I challenge PTI to prove a single allegation against me,” she said.
Reham questioned the joint-legal action by her former husband Ijaz Rehman, former cricketer Wasim Akram, British Pakistani businessman Zulfi Bukhari and British Pakistani lady activist Anila Khawaja.
“I can’t understand how can PTI serve a legal notice on behalf of Dr Ijaz Rehman. Is he a spokesperson, or hold a position. What you are saying is not a legal notice as far as I understand. It worths nothing,” she said.
Reham took a jibe at his former husband’s party by saying: “They should change legal counsel. I was saying the same thing during the judicial commission hearing,” adding, “when I was in Bani Gala I used to say the same thing don’t go into what the anchors are saying.”
Reham called Abbasi, ‘ a child being used by PTI’. “He won’t get a ticket for NA-49, the kids being used by PTI on facebook and twitter, will get nothing. They should remember my words.”
The former wife of Imran Khan said that Abbasi should be asked how he got the manuscript of the book.
“Let me give free advice to the PTI. The party’s social media team should be fired. Include those who can write English and type well. Forgery is illegal, but even if you are doing it at least do it professionally because once you put anything on social media, even if you have deleted it, its record remains there,” Reham said.
Reham said that there was nothing morally questionable to meet former Pakistan’s Ambassador to United State of America Hussain Haqqani in London.
“My upbringing is not the one like of Fawad Chaudhry, I will respond to his Salaam if I meet him anytime. This is the respect which we need to teach our children.”
Reham said that she will launch the book at her chosen time and is not liable to tell people what is written in the book.
“It’s my choice whether to name one cricketer or two, leave it for when I will publish it. They have got the habit of intimidating women. This is fascism, it’s a dictatorial attitude,” she said.