Murad Saeed serves
notice on Reham Khan
over ‘dirty propaganda’,
seeks unconditional apology

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18

ISLAMABAD: Over three years after publication of her book, federal Minister for Com­munications Murad Saeed on Sunday served a legal notice on Reham Khan, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s former wife for, what he called, levelling false allegations against him and doing ‘dirty propaganda’ in the book.

Reham Khan’s book (Page No: 273 is centre of controversy)

According to a press release issued by the Infor­mation Ministry, Mr Saeed sought an unconditional apology from Ms Khan within 14 days; otherwise, a defamation suit of Rs1bn will be filed against her.

According to a Dawn report, interestingly, the minister did not mention the name of Reham Khan while addressing her in the press release. “Tender apology within 14 days from this notice otherwise the court will be requested for her stern punishment and Rs1 billion damages,” said the official announcement.

Mr Saeed said that a few days ago, his ministry got distinction by standing number one among top 10 ministries due to extraordinary performance but the achievement was made controversial with the reference to the contents of Reham’s book.

“Your book was used as a reference for launching malicious propaganda and false allegations,” he added.

The minister said Reham never contradicted some references from her book that were leaked before it was published. “Later, with the reference to her book, false allegations were levelled against Murad Saeed,” the announcement said.

Earlier this month, the communications minister filed a cyber crime case against the editor-in-chief of Daily Jinnah and Online News Agency — Mohsin Baig — with Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for, what he called, his ‘character assassination’, during a talk show on a private TV channel.

During the show, Mr Baig and other panelists had given a reference to Reham Khan’s book, implying why Murad Saeed was called a ‘blue-eyed’ minister of the PM’s cabinet.

About 30 minutes after filing of the case with FIA in Lahore, a raiding party of the agency, in civvies, had barged into the residence of Mr Baig in Islamabad and after some resistance from him, the team managed to arrest him. Later, (according to media reports) he was tortured in a local police station.

On the other hand, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) issued a show-cause notice to the news channel as well.

During the first hearing of the cyber crime case, an additional session judge declared the raid at the house of Mohsin Baig as ‘illegal’ and directed the inspector general of police (IGP) Islamabad to take action against the SHO concerned.

However, Prime Minister Imran Khan had decided to file a complaint against the judge for ‘going beyond his mandate’ in passing a judgement apparently favouring Mohsin Baig. A few days ago, an ordinance was promulgated to impose curbs on the media.

Murad Saeed, some days back, had vowed to take legal action against Ms Khan for ‘disgracing him and the PM’ in her book launched in July 2018.

Ms Reham, who married Imran Khan in 2015, lived with him for less than two years and got divorce in November 2016.

Murad Saeed and Rehman Khan

Responding to a question about ‘harsh’ treatment of the FIA team with Mohsin Baig, Mr Saeed said he had chosen a legal way to file an application against the editor and he was not responsible for the way the FIA took action. He also clarified that in his complaint he had only referred to the television show during which the remarks were made and requested for legal action.

Earlier on 18th February, Communications Minister Murad Saeed at a press conference vowed to take legal action against Imran Khan’s ex-wife Reham Khan for “disgracing him and the PM” in her book launched in July 2018.

Ms Reham, who married Imran Khan in 2015, lived with him for less than two years and got divorce in November 2016. “I have decided to take legal course of action [against her] and my legal team is sitting to decide how to proceed,” Mr Saeed told reporters without naming Reham Khan.

Asked why he did not take action against the person (Reham Khan) whose book is used as a reference to malign him and the prime minister, he said a legal action would shortly be taken against her. Responding to a question about “harsh” treatment of the FIA team with Mohsin Baig, the minister said he had chosen a legal way to file an application against the editor but he was not responsible for the way the FIA took action.

However, some senior police officials reportedly told mediapersons on Thursday that they were being pressurised by the Prime Minister Office to take stern action against Mr Baig.

Murad Saeed also clarified that in his complaint he had only referred to the television show during which the remarks were made and requested for legal action.