ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Saturday claimed 'victory' in a defamation case against a British newspaper allegedly for leveling allegations against its president and former chief minister Shehbaz Sharif.
"The British court's decision in a defamation case is a slap on the face of Prime Minister Imran Khan and his adviser Shahzad Akbar, as the lawyer of the British newspaper himself admitted that the entire story was based on assumptions," claimed PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb while speaking at a news conference.
She alleged that Shahzad Akbar had harassed prisoners to get their statements prior to providing the material for publication in the British newspaper, adding that the British journalist himself wrote that the material for the story was provided to him by Shahzad Akbar.
Aurangzeb also displayed some photographs of an alleged meeting of the British journalist with Prime Minister Imran Khan and his adviser Shahzad Akbar which she claimed to have taken place before the publication of the story.
"In a bid to hide their incompetence, a deliberate perception was created and a failed effort was made to establish that Shehbaz Sharif got kickbacks and committed corruption...these tactics are nothing but enmity with the country," she maintained.
She added: "The British court has ruled on Shehbaz Sharif's suit and established a high level of defamation."
She said the news item mentioned the period from 2005 to 2009 during which Shehbaz Sharif was in exile.
"In this false news, Shehbaz Sharif was accused of taking DFID [British Department for International Development] money and commission from earthquake fund," she said, adding that the DFID had already contradicted the news story and rejected the allegations of any corruption in the aid.
"Imran Khan Sahib! Shahzad Akbar Sahib! British courts are independent and they don't have judges like Arshad Malik and they don't make JITs [joint investigation teams] on WhatsApp messages," she said while referring to the JIT formed in Panama Papers case.
She said Shahzad Akbar failed to produce any evidence of the alleged corruption neither in Pakistani courts nor in the British court.
She also referred to the allegations against party leader Rana Sanaullah who was sent to jail on charges of drugs recovery from his car and asked "where are the drugs that you had stated on oath to have been recovered from his car?"
Referring to Prime Minister Khan's statement on Kashmir Day, she alleged that the statement was in contradiction of Pakistan's stated position on Kashmir for the last 72 years.
"Will the 'selectors' ask for an explanation from him?" she asked.
In the context of foreign funding case, she also alleged that the PTI was brought into power to 'sell out' Kashmir.
To a question, she claimed that the loan borrowed by the PML-N in its five-year term was spent on electricity projects, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), and the motorways.
"Whereas, the PTI government has so far borrowed Rs14,000 billion and not a single brick has been laid," she claimed.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021