Defamation suit: PML-N workers scare Shahbaz Gill away

Published January 7, 2021
Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Political Communication Shahbaz Gill. — DawnNewsTV/File
Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Political Communication Shahbaz Gill. — DawnNewsTV/File

LAHORE: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Political Communication Shahbaz Gill on Wednesday faced a volley of sloganeering against himself and the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government by the workers of the PML-N at the Lahore Judicial Complex.

Mr Gill visited the complex to attend hearing of a defamation suit filed against him by a Turkish company for levelling baseless allegations of corruption and kickbacks in a contract of operating the Lahore Metro Bus service. The PML-N workers had already gathered there in connection with the appearance of their party’s president Shehbaz Sharif and his son Hamza before an accountability court in the judicial complex.

Mr Gill was going outside the complex along with his lawyers when workers of the opposition party spotted him and started sloganeering against him and the government. The workers chanted slogans “atta chor, cheeni chor” (the thief of flour and sugar) to taunt the prime minister’s special assistant. They chased Gill till he drove away from the complex.

Earlier, speaking to the media, Mr Gill said he was not going back to the US to resume teaching and would remain in the country to serve Prime Minister Imran Khan. Therefore, he said, he had no fear of such cases and would continue to expose the corruption of the previous rulers.

About the case, Gill said he stuck to his stance against the company that sued him. He questioned the company as to why it agreed to render the same service on an amount 100 per cent less than the previous government awarded to it. He said his lawyers would request the court to summon the details of the accounts of the company to find out whether the ‘excessive’ money had been going to the account of Suleman Shehbaz or to anyone else.

Later, Mr Gill also held a press conference at Governor House on the same issue.

M/s Platform Turizm Tasimacilik, a subsidiary of Al-Bayrak Group of companies, sought action against the prime minister’s special assistant under section 499 and 500 of Pakistan Penal Code for levelling false allegations against it.

Additional District and Sessions Judge Zulfiqar Ali adjourned hearing of the suit till Jan 16 as lawyers of Gill filed their power of attorney and sought time to submit a reply.

Published in Dawn, January 7th, 2021

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