Maryam sends Rs1b defamation notice to PTI spokesperson



Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz on Monday sent a Rs1 billion defamation notice to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) spokesperson Naeemul Haq, it has been learnt.

Haq had accused Maryam Nawaz of being responsible for the security leaks regarding the high-level national security meeting.

“The accusation/statement against our client is defamatory, false, mala fide, scandalous, untrue, without any evidence,” said the notice.

The notice asked the PTI leader to tender an unconditional apology and retract the accusations made. It also demanded for the same to be published in newspapers.

“In case of failure, our client [Maryam] will be constrained to initiate legal proceedings, including civil and criminal, against you at your own risk,” stated the legal notice served through advocate Sardar Kalim Ilyas.

The PTI leader was also asked to “stop making such accusations for which you have no proof, which is false and untrue”.

The accusation was broadcast on October 31 on different channels, including ARY News Channel, and tickers were also run on news channel, read the legal notice sent to Haq.

Earlier this month, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif had sent a legal notice to PTI chairman Imran Khan under the defamation law, requiring the latter to make a public apology and withdraw ‘false’ allegations of corruption levelled against the former.

The notice sent through Advocate Mustafa Ramday under Section 8 of the Defamation Ordinance 2002 says: “Your false vilification of Shehbaz Sharif’s intentions has the potential to erode the carefully built trust with domestic and international partners that has wider ramifications on development in Punjab and national progress overall.”

On October 29, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took back the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage from Pervaiz Rashid, weeks after the military’s top commanders said a ‘false and fabricated’ newspaper report breached national security.

According to a statement from the PM’s Office, the premier has directed Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid to step down to enable holding of an independent and detailed inquiry into the episode.

“The planted story related to the NSC and NAP meeting published in Daily Dawn on 6th October was a breach of national security. Evidence available so far points to a lapse on part of Information Minister, who has been directed to step down from office to enable holding of an independent and detailed inquiry,” said the PM House statement.

“An inquiry committee including senior officers of ISI, MI and IB is being formed by the Government of Pakistan to clearly apportion blame, identify interests and motives and expose all those responsible for this episode for stern action in the national interest,” it added.

The Dawn newspaper had published the story on October 6, in which journalist Cyril Almeida had written about an alleged civil-military rift during the National Security Committee (NSC) meeting over the issue of tackling jihadi outfits.