Tareen sends Rs1bn defamation notices to Waseem Badami, Shahzeb Khanzada for 'false imputations'

Published January 25, 2020
PTI leader Jahangir Tareen says both anchorpersons gave "highly malicious, defamatory and damaging" statements in their programmes. — DawnNewsTV/File
PTI leader Jahangir Tareen says both anchorpersons gave "highly malicious, defamatory and damaging" statements in their programmes. — DawnNewsTV/File

Senior Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Jahangir Tareen sent out defamation notices worth Rs1 billion each to anchorpersons Shahzeb Khanzada and Waseem Badami for making "false imputations" in their news programmes that have or are likely to cause "serious harm and injury to his reputation".

According to the notice sent to him, Khanzada in his programme Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath, which aired on Geo News on January 21, had given the impression that Tareen was part of a "sugar mafia" and was "collusively involved or complicit in causing artificial inflation" of refined sugar across the country.

Furthermore, the notice said, Khanzada had suggested that Tareen was "managing or deciding" the federal and provincial governments' policy pertaining to the production, sales, import or export of refined sugar which had led to an increase in the commodity's price. It was also implied that Tareen's interest in the sugar industry was "obstructing the due regulation of sugar mills and the price of sugar" by authorities.

The notice pointed out that Tareen was not a part of the federal or provincial governments and therefore, cannot influence the policy-making process. It also insisted that the PTI leader had "no nexus with or any authority over regulatory institutions" such as the Competition Commission of Pakistan.

Khanzada was addressing the rising sugar prices in his programme and had said that Tareen, "who is looking at matters of the import and export of agricultural products, owns sugar mills".

In a separate notice sent to Badami, Tareen took exception to being referred to as "corrupt" in the anchorperson's show 11th Hour, aired on ARY News on January 23. According to the notice, Badami had offered "no proof or evidence of the alleged corruption of or corrupt practice(s)" against Tareen.

In his programme, Badami, while talking about Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2019 report, had said that the prime minister had surrounded himself with people who had been accused of corruption.

In both the notices, Tareen complained that Khanzada and Badami had not sought his response to the "highly malicious, defamatory and damaging" statements.

Terming Khanzada and Badami's statements as "unfounded and concocted", Tareen's counsel demanded that the anchorpersons withdraw their "defamatory imputations", tender a "proper public apology" in their respective programmes as well as "publish a contradiction of the said defamatory statement(s)".

The notices warned that if the anchorpersons did not take the above measures, legal proceedings would be initiated against both of them for damages amounting to Rs1bn each under the Defamation Ordinance, 2002.


Misplaced anger at poor show
24 Jan 2021

Misplaced anger at poor show

In the UK, when a party is elected to office after being in the opposition, its leader takes over as prime minister seamlessly.


Updated 24 Jan 2021

Delayed olive branch

THE PTI government has finally mustered up sufficient political prudence to extend an olive branch to the opposition...
24 Jan 2021

Bureaucracy reform

WHILE the intention behind the endeavour may be lauded, the civil service reform package unveiled by the government...
24 Jan 2021

Minority rights

ON Thursday, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution to safeguard religious sites around the world,...
23 Jan 2021

Power price hike

ALREADY struggling to cope with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and rising food prices, consumers received yet...
Updated 23 Jan 2021

Israeli land grab

WITH the chapter now closed on the Trump presidency, the eyes of many in the international community — ...
23 Jan 2021

New PhD policy

EARLIER in the week, the HEC chairman announced several changes for undergraduate and PhD degrees in the country....