–Reham denies meeting Maryam, receiving money from Shehbaz
–Serves Rs5 bln defamation notice to Hamza Ali Abbasi
LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s former wife Reham Khan has been served with defamation notices by her former husband Ijazur Rehman, former cricketer Wasim Akram, Imran’s close aide Zulfi Bukhari, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa outgoing chief minister Parvez Khattak, PTI’s Hamza Ali Abbasi, Asad Umar, Murad Saeed, Anila Khawaja and four others for publishing “defamatory and malicious” content in her upcoming autobiography.
According to the notice, the manuscript of her purported autobiography titled ‘Reham Khan’ contains a “litany of malicious, false, incorrect, highly misleading, callous, wanton, tortious, prejudicial, damaging, libellous and defamatory imputations”.
The notice sent by a law firm representing 12 petitioners adds that “our clients will be seeking full redress through the courts for the serious damage and harm” the book is anticipated to inflict on them.
The notice, mailed to Reham in UK, demands a detailed answer from her within 14 days and will be dismissed if she removes the “malicious content” besides stating her sources.
The pre-action defamation notice, sent by Sweetman, Burke and Sinker, reads as follows,
“Each of our Clients is in receipt of a manuscript which purports to be your autobiography titled “Reham Khan” (the “Manuscript”) with your photograph at the beginning and end of the manuscript which spans over 600 typed pages. The Manuscript was delivered anonymously to each of our Clients recently.
The Manuscript, at various places, makes reference to our Clients and contains a litany of malicious, false, incorrect, highly misleading, callous, wanton, tortious, prejudicial, damaging, libellous and defamatory imputations directed towards and about our Clients.
We refer you to Schedule A wherein we have detailed the relevant sections of your manuscript which are clients contend are defamatatory and contain malicious falsehood.
By way of illustration, there are defamatory imputations against Mr. Sayed Z Bukhari at pages 464 and 539 of the Manuscript. Mr Rehman has accused of multiple failings in his marriage through much of the manuscript beginning with the Chapter entitled ‘The Door’ at page 5. Mr Rehman is portrayed (wrongly our client asserts) as being nasty, mean and cruel. You have accused Mr Rehman of assault at various points in your manuscript which are detailed in Schedule A. At one point you imply that this has gone on for 12 years throughout your marriage but at another point in your manuscript you contradict this when you state that the violence only started after your son Sahir was born.
At pages 402 and 572 you attribute our client Mr Akram (here the letter refers to allegedly salacious content regarding the former cricketer that we deem unfit to publish.)
At pages 243,417 and 458 you have stated defamatory remarks with respect to Ms Khawaja (whom the book alleged, according to legal counsel, Imran Khan has had an affair with.)
Each of our Clients is shocked and dismayed by the malicious and false imputations contained in the manuscript and takes serious exception to the same as these are clearly intended to cause harm to their reputation and standing and have the object of defaming our clients.
We believe that these manuscripts, contain serious, untrue and highly defamatory comments towards our Clients and contain malicious falsehood. Our clients will be seeking full redress through the courts for the serious damage and harm your book is anticipated to no doubt inflict on our clients.
It is apparent to our clients that the contents of your manuscript and proposed published book is designed to incur maximum harm to our clients’ reputation and financial business.
We put you on notice that damages will be calculated for all 4 of our clients claims and these will be very substantial. In addition we will claim legal costs against you which in defamation proceedings are invariably very high.”
‘CONTROVERSIAL UPCOMING BOOK’:
Reham Khan’s upcoming book has become a source of controversy in both the mainstream and social media. In the book, Reham has levelled serious allegations against the aforementioned personalities.
Speaking to a private media channel on Monday, Ms Khan said she would neither confirm nor deny the allegations nor was she under any sort of legal obligation to reply to the media.
In the same program, Wasim Akram said that he would take this issue to court regardless of the country in which the book will be published.
It is said to revolve around her marriage to PTI chief Imran Khan, which ended in a divorce mere 15 months later. The manuscript of her book was leaked online, which irked several PTI leaders who took to Twitter to accuse her of being part of an “agenda” ahead of the upcoming general election.
Earlier, Reham claimed that her former husband Imran Khan did not fulfil requirements of Article 62 and 63 as he hid their marriage for two months.
REHAM DENIES MEETING MARYAM, RECEIVING MONEY FROM SHEHBAZ:
Meanwhile, Reham Khan denied an earlier allegation by Fawad Chaudhry of having met Maryam Nawaz, daughter of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan’s political rival Nawaz Sharif.
In an interview to a private television channel, Reham refuted allegations of receiving money from Shehbaz Sharif.
“The accusation of receiving money from Shehbaz is incorrect, I never met him or Maryam,” she said, threatening to take the accusers to court.
Reham also requested Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar to take notice of the issue.
“I cannot understand why PTI is apprehensive about my book,” she said in the interview.
Aiming the guns at her former spouse, Reham said Imran had not complied with Articles 62 and 63, as he had their marriage for two months.
She also criticised Imran over the recent nominations of candidates for caretaker chief minister for Punjab, for which the party has come under fire after it withdrew the name of its proposed candidate Nasir Khosa.
Reham also questioned allegations of writing the book on a hidden agenda. Responding to PTI Spokesman Chaudhry’s claims on Twitter that “the whole book [written by Reham] is an exercise to demolish only real opposition”, she said: “How will my book affect the outcome of elections.”
HAMZA ALI ABBASI SERVED Rs5 BLN DEFAMATION NOTICE:
Separately, Reham Khan on Monday served a Rs5 billion defamation notice to Hamza Ali Abbasi.
Confirming the report, Reham’s lawyer, Yasser Latif Hamdani told a private media outlet the notice says that Abbasi has been spreading, publishing and broadcasting several communications, statements and representations online and in print and broadcast media against Reham, including accusing her of receiving GBP100,000 from the PML-N and Shehbaz Sharif.
It also lists the accusation that Reham was in contact via email with PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal, adding that Iqbal has denied this and clarified that he never contacted her through email and had only met her a few times while appearing as a guest on her TV show.
The notice adds that on June 2, Abbasi appeared on a talk show and repeated the GBP100,000 claim while also stating that he had no need to prove the allegation. In the same show, he also accused Reham of being “opposed to the Pakistan Army, which is again patently false and an allegation designed to undermine” her credibility as an independent journalist.
It says that this makes clear his wish to situate Reham “falsely in the midst of some grand conspiracy, thereby making it impossible [for her] to live freely in Pakistan.”
Abbasi’s statements have caused Reham “irreparable loss and damage to her reputation and career”, while also causing her “severe mental agony, anguish pain, and mental torture.”
The notice adds that if in terms of Section 8 of the Defamation Ordinance, Abbasi does not tender a proper and unconditional apology to Reham within 14 days in all media and with the same prominence as the defamatory statements, the lawyers will initiate legal action against him and pursue damages to the tune of Rs5 billion.