Government to file defamation suit against Wajih over Prime Minister’s household expenses allegations
ISLAMABAD/ KARACHI: The government on Thursday announced that it had decided to file a defamation suit against former PTI leader Justice (retd) Wajihuddin Ahmed, who stuck to his earlier claim that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s political companions were paying for his household expenses saying that it was the “truth”.
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry told reporters at new conference in Islamabad that the government would file a defamation suit against Wajihuddin.
He added that notices were also being issued to the TV channels which ran his statement without confirmation.
“Freedom of speech is accompanied by the right to responsibility. This trend of maligning people’s reputation must be stopped” he added.
Fawad maintained that the prime minister was targeted in reprehensible manner. “The reputation of even the prime minister is not safe here. A deliberate campaign is being launched against the country’s top civilian leadership officers, army generals, judiciary and institutions.”
The minister claimed that campaigns were launched against national institutions by certain media houses to weaken the system.
He added that the premier had never burdened the national exchequer and saved the wealth of the nation instead.
Fawad said PM Imran had donated the plots allotted to him by the government after winning the 1992 World Cup and defeating India on its home ground to the Shaukat Khanum Trust.
“If Prime Minister Imran Khan had given any value to money, he would have been a billionaire after his divorce from Jemima Goldsmith in Britain, where courts see marriage as a partnership and demand assets of that partnership to be shared equally.”
The minister appealed to the chief justices of the Supreme Court and high courts to play their role in the protection of the dignity and honour of national institutions.
He called for the constitution of division benches for proceedings in defamation cases.
Fawad said the government had planned the Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority (PMDA) to ensure freedom of expression with responsibility.
He added that its new draft had been prepared as per the recommendations of the media bodies.
The minister said the government wanted the PDMA Act to be finalised so that the character assassination of famous people could stop.
Separately, Wajihuddin said if anyone wanted to file a defamation suit against him, “they must do so as the courts are open”.
He was speaking to reporters at the MQM’s office in Bahadurabad, Karachi.
Wajihuddin, who had parted ways with the party in the wake of serious differences with the PTI chief, made the claim while speaking on a news programme on a private TV channel on Tuesday.
He had accused Prime Minister Imran Khan of taking money from disgruntled PTI leader Jahangir Khan Tareen — Rs3 million per month — to run his Bani Gala household.
On Wednesday, Tareen refuted the claim saying that he had never paid for the premier’s household expenses
In a tweet, Tareen, who is reportedly not on good terms with PM Imran anymore, said regardless of the current status of his relationship with the premier, he would not hide the truth.
“I did whatever was in my capacity to help [the] PTI in the quest to build a new Pakistan but I never gave a penny for the household expenses of Bani Gala,” he added.
Source: Express Tribune