Real estate tycoon Malik Riaz has dismissed an audio clip allegedly featuring him and his daughter talking about Farah Khan — a close friend of Imran Khan's wife Bushra Bibi — as "fake" and vowed to "find people behind this conspiracy" through a legal battle.
The clarification from the business magnate comes after ruling PML-N leaders Ataullah Tarar and Azma Zahid Bukhari played the clip during their joint press conference yesterday where they accused Farah of serving as former prime minister Imran Khan's "front woman" for his alleged corrupt practices.
In a message on Twitter, Riaz said fabricating an audio conversation shouldn't be a surprise, especially when latest technologies such as "deep fake" were at hand.
"I don't wish to get involved in political campaigns of any party, but the most appalling fact is that my voice and reference are being misused to settle personal and political scores."
Riaz said he absolutely detested the continuous attacks on him and his family.
He expressed his intent to pursue the matter legally, saying he "will be using all possible legal forums to find people behind this conspiracy against me."
Riaz also said anyone found to be the originator and facilitator in spreading the fake material would be taken to task.
A reporter, during a press conference of PTI leaders on Sunday, had also asked former state minister for information, Farrukh Habib, to comment on the audio clip as it involved accusations against former first lady Bushra Bibi.
Habib had said the conversation in the audio clip had no links with the PTI because none of its leaders or representatives were featured in it.
"You cannot link a conversation between a father and daughter with us. We strongly reject it," Habib had said.
The audio clip
In the audio clip that Riaz has declared fabricated, his daughter allegedly tells him that Farah had called her to say that the then-first lady, Bushra Bibi, had asked her not to accept a three-carat diamond ring. She quoted Farah as asking her to take back the ring as “I don’t like such an ordinary object.”
Then the tycoon asks his daughter to give her what she’s asking for.
“I have offered (Farah) to buy them a five-carat [ring], which would cost Rs10 million," the daughter then says, adding that her father's "appointment (with Farah) has been set for Saturday, the ring should be arranged before it”.
Malik Riaz asks his daughter to place an order for the ring. She says she had done so and it would be delivered the next day.
The daughter is also heard telling her father that the "locks" of his site [for developing a residential society] would be opened in the morning.
Without naming Farah, she quotes her as saying that [Imran] Khan had telephoned her, guaranteeing that he would remove the [negative] report which had been submitted [apparently about the housing scheme site] and that [former adviser to PM on accountability] Shehzad Akbar’s letter would also be delivered to them.