CM Shehbaz sends defamation notices to two news channels over ‘fake Saudi visit claims’

(FILES) This file photo taken on January 30, 2008 shows Shahbaz Sharif, brother of former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif, addressing a press conference in Karachi. Pakistan's ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif named his brother Shahbaz, the chief minister of Punjab province, as his successor and nominated ex-oil minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as an interim premier in a defiant speech July 29, 2017. "I support Shahbaz Sharif after me but he will take time to contest elections so for the time being I nominate Shahid Khaqan Abbasi," Sharif said in a televised speech to his party. / AFP PHOTO / AFP FILES / RIZWAN TABASSUM

LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday sent legal notices to two private news channels for spreading “rumours” about his recent visit to Saudi Arabia.

The defamation notices that have been sent under the defamation law by Advocate Mustafa Ramday on behalf of the chief minister, state that the news channels while accusing Shehbaz Sharif of corruption, aired “fake news” that was damaging to the chief minister’s character.

Earlier, several rumours claiming that “a deal was being made” had surfaced following former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s visit to Saudi Arabia last week. The reports further claimed that both the Sharif brothers had gone to Saudi Arabia in a bid to strike an NRO like deal to avoid corruption cases and to improve their relations with the royal family.

The chief minister and Punjab government spokesperson Mohammad Ahmed Khan, however, had denied all such reports after labeling them “baseless”.