ISLAMABAD: In Pakistan, a new Pandora Box opened on Thursday when Federal Minister for Information Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said on Thursday that the government had decided to file a defamation suit against Wajihuddin Ahmed for his baseless claim about expenditures of Bani Gala residence of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Addressing a press conference here, he said that Article 9 of the Constitution gave the right of self-respect and dignity to every citizen but in Pakistan, this right was blatantly violated in both traditional and social media.
He said that notices would also be issued to those media houses which telecast the baseless allegations of Justice Wajihuddin without any verification.
Dignity and honour of the Prime Minister of Pakistan was not safe what to speak of the common man, he said adding that the baseless propaganda was spread about the prime minister’s family life and Bani Gala house.
Fawad said the person who was favored by the prime minister and nominated as a presidential candidate attacked the prime minister through the claim that Jehangir Tareen bore the expenditure of Imran’s residence.
He said that Jahangir Tareen had proved to be a gentleman as he had already denied the allegations of Justice (retd) Wajihuddin. The process of character assassination of the people should stop and
Article 9 of the constitution must be implemented, the minister demanded. He said that the PM never burdened the national exchequer and saved the wealth of the nation.
He said that campaigns were launched against national institutions by certain media houses to weaken the system. He said that no one was punished by the judiciary for involvement in character assassination of known personalities.
He said that way the personality of the PM was targeted was highly condemnable. He said that the PM had donated the plots allotted to him by the government after winning 1992 World Cup and defeating India on its home ground to Shaukat Khanam Trust.
The minister appealed to the chief justices of the Supreme Court and High Courts to play their role in the protection of the dignity and honour of the national institutions. He called for the constitution of division benches for proceedings on defamation cases.
Fawad Hussain said that the government had planned Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority (PMDA) to ensure freedom of expression with responsibility.
He said that its new draft had been prepared as per recommendations of the media bodies. The minister said that the government wanted finalization of the PDMA act so that the character assassination of famous people should stop.
He said that PTI government was trying to implement defamation-related laws already implemented in many countries.
Justice Wajih stands to his claims
Meanwhile, talking to media persons in Karachi on Thursday, former PTI member, retired Justice Wajihuddin Ahmed said that he stands to his claims that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s monthly household expenses were borne by now-estranged PTI leader Jahangir Tareen.
Wajihuddin — who had resigned from the PTI back in 2016 — revealed that Tareen initially gave funds worth Rs3 million per month for now-Prime Minister Imran Khan’s household expenses, which was later increased to Rs5 million per month.
He said that the perception about Imran Khan being an honest man is “completely wrong”. “The man who doesn’t even pay for his shoelaces, how can you call that man honest?” Wajihuddin questioned.
Earlier, retired Justice Wajihuddin Ahmed, has claimed that the now-estranged PTI leader Jahangir Khan Tareen used to provide funds of up to Rs3 million per month for now-Prime Minister Imran Khan’s household expenses.
Ahmed, who had resigned from the PTI five years ago after developing serious differences with PTI chief Imran Khan, made the claim while speaking on Bol news programme ‘Tabdeeli‘, but offered no proof for the same.
“This belief is entirely false that Imran Khan is a [financially] honest man,” Ahmed said. “His condition is such that he hasn’t been running his household himself for years.”
“In the start, the Jahangir Tareen group used to pay Rs3 million monthly to run his house,” he claimed, adding that the amount was later increased to Rs5m after it was determined that Rs3m were not enough for the PTI chief’s palatial Banigala residence.
He further said certain people within the party would try to outdo each other in footing the bills for things like keeping Imran’s car fuel tank and “keeping his pocket full at all times”.
The former supreme court judge then quoted an unnamed PTI leader as saying: “How can a man whose shoelaces are not even his own call himself righteous?”
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Political Communication Dr Shahbaz Gill rubbished Ahmed’s claim as “completely false and illogical”.
“Whoever knows Imran Khan, knows his honesty and dignity. Wajih sahib often makes illogical remarks such as these in despair over being expelled from the party,” he tweeted.
At a press conference, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said: “Jokers like retired Justice Wajihuddin say things like these to increase their importance. Such people are not recognised by their families either so there is no need to pay much attention to them.”
Ahmed, who also served as the chief justice of the Sindh High Court before being elevated to the apex court, had formally resigned from the PTI in September 2016.
He had served as the party’s election tribunal head. He was tasked to head a commission in 2013 to investigate “irregularities” in the PTI’s intra-party elections that took place before the general elections in the same year.
The retired justice developed differences with the party leadership over implementation of the recommendations made by the tribunal.
His party membership had been suspended in 2015, after which he presented a seven-point charter calling for the ouster of Jahangir Tareen, Pervaiz Khattak, Aleem Khan and Nadir Leghari from the PTI.
He alleged that the party was being run like a mafia without any institutional checks and balances.
Jahangir Tareen denies claims
Jahangir Khan Tareen, on Wednesday refuted former PTI member, retired Justice Wajihuddin Ahmed’s statement about the former’s alleged role in bearing most of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s monthly household expenses. Tareen, seeking to set the record straight, issued a statement on Twitter.
He said that he ought to tell the truth regardless of the status of his relations with Prime Minister Imran Khan. “I have never paid a single penny for the household expenses of Bani Gala,” Tareen wrote.
Tareen said that he did whatever was in his capacity to help PTI build a new Pakistan.
Earlier, responding to Wajihuddin’s claims, Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry had said: “Jokers like Justice Wajihuddin say things like these to increase their importance.”
Addressing a press conference, the information minister had said: “Such people are not recognised by their families either so there is no need to pay much attention to them.”
Moreover, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Political Communication Shahbaz Gill said the claims were “completely false and illogical”.
“Whoever knows Imran Khan, knows his honesty and dignity. Wajih sahib often makes illogical remarks such as these in despair over being expelled from the party,” he said in a tweet.