Monday, January 30, 2023

PPP sends Rs10bn legal notice to Imran Khan over 'baseless allegations'

Asif Ali Zardari asks PTI chairman to prove allegations or apologise within 14 days

Pakistan Peoples Party Co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari and PTI Chairman Imran Khan. — AFP/File
Pakistan Peoples Party Co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari and PTI Chairman Imran Khan. — AFP/File

  • Notice says PTI chief's statement caused great harm and hurt PPP members.
  • Says PTI chief through his claims caused "severe agony, mental stress" to the PPP co-chairperson.
  • PPP had announced that it would send a notice to PTI chief over his claim.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) on Monday sent a Rs10 billion legal notice to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan for levelling “baseless allegations” against its co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari.

“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,” read the notice sent by Zardari to the PTI chief.

The notice contends that the PTI chief through his "baseless accusations" 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 Rs.10,000,000,000/- (Rupees ten billion Only) at your risk as to cost and consequences," said the notice. 

Imran Khan accuses Asif Zardari of plotting to assassinate him

Last week, the PTI chairman had alleged that PPP Co-chairperson Zardari was hatching as well as financing an assassination plot against him for which the ex-president had hired "terrorists".

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

"I got to know about it and then I recorded my video explaining the attack. In a public rally, I announced that I would release the video if something happened to me. They stepped back after this."

Without naming anyone again, Khan said that another plan was made to have him killed by a religious extremist — indicating towards the November 3, 2022, Wazirabad attack, where he was shot in the legs and is still recovering from the injuries.

"Now, there's a Plan C. 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 claimed that "agencies" were involved in this plot. "I am [revealing] these names as my nation should know who were [behind] these attacks," he said.

Bilawal lambasts Imran

Soon after Khan made the claim, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari — who is also the son of the former president — slammed Khan and said that the ex-prime minister must be careful about what he says.

Terming the accusations of the PTI chief “dangerous,” he said that PPP was exploring legal responses to Khan’s most recent accusations.

“We are exploring legal response to Imran latest defamatory and dangerous accusations. In the past, he threatened my father that he was ‘in the crosshairs of his gun’."

"He & his associates' history as both sympathisers & facilitators of terrorists are well documented," the foreign minister said.