Imran-Khan legally sued by Jang/ Geo group over venomous campaign

ISLAMABAD (Monitoring desk): A legal notice has been sent to Imran-Khan by Jang/ Geo group demanding unconditional public apology for defiling the organization.

Additionally, Imran-Khan has been demanded to pay Rs 1 billion in “token” by the media group to compensate for the damage to the image of the group and its Chief Executive/ Editor-In-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, over the last four years.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party chairman Imran-Khan has been given 14 days to comply with the legal notice issued on Saturday by lawyers representing Jang-Geo Group Chief Executive and Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman.

If he fails to do so, Imran-Khan will be liable to civil and criminal cases in court under section 8 of the Defamation Ordinance 2002.

Advocate Amir Abdullah Abbasi sent the notice to Imran-Khan at his Lahore residence, Zaman Park as well as Bani Gala home in Islamabad.

The legal notice was issued due to numerous  “completely false and misleading… highly defamatory, disparaging and damaging” allegations randomly pitched by Imran-Khan against Jang/ Geo group and its Chief Executive since 2014.

“As a result of your recent representations, statements and expressions on electronic and print media and other forums and the resultant impressions, innuendos and insinuations that have followed, grave defamation of Jang Group has been committed by you before an audience of millions of viewers and readers both in Pakistan and abroad,” the notice read.

“The allegations are completely false and unfounded and evidently motivated. Your expressions have personal and ulterior motives and objectives, have malice in its construct and portray your biased bend of mind towards Jang Group,” it elaborated.

The legal notice chronologically lists accusations alleged by Imran-Khan against the Jang/ Geo Group, giving proof of them in written transcripts of the defiling statements that Khan publically made in political campaigns and media talks in the course of last four years.

Among various unverified allegations leveled by Khan, he accused the leading media group of jeopardizing the transparency of the 2013 general elections by illegally tilting the results in favor of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party.

Likewise, Imran-Khan has accused Jang/ Geo group of misreporting events regarding the Supreme Court hearing of the ‘Panama Papers’ disclosures, allegedly in an effort to shield the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif from corruption charges, hence defaming the judiciary.

Khan has turned a blind eye to the fact that his petition to the Supreme Court and its subsequent proceedings would not occur if the Jang/ Geo journalists did not disseminate facts contained in the Panama Papers in the first place.

Similarly, Khan accused the Jang/ Geo group of unlawful acquisition of coverage rights of the 2017 limited-overs cricket series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

With such baseless defamatory remarks failing to gain traction, Khan has also stooped to defaming the Jang-Geo Group as an allegedly treasonous organisation working in tandem with Pakistan’s enemies in India and the United States.

In doing so, Khan has seriously endangered the lives of Jang/ Geo Group’s employees.

“Your expressions also are such that these amount to direct provocation and incitement to the members of the public, particularly your political supporters and workers, to act against the Jang Group, which seriously endanger life, property and business of the group and those associated and affiliated with it,” said the legal notice served to Khan on Saturday.

Unable to corroborate any of his defamatory statements, Khan has resorted to the personal vilification of Jang-Geo Group Chief Executive and Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman, whom he has characterised as a “blackmailer”, “media godfather” and “pharoah”, and accused of intimidation.

Rather than responding in kind, the Jang-Geo Group has upheld its ethical credentials by maintaining its substantial, impartial coverage of Khan and his PTI party.

The Jang-Geo Group has offered to submit to an independent, impartial inquiry into the accusations made against it by Khan, who has refused to participate for obvious reasons.

“The Jang Group acted with perseverance and decided not to initiate a legal action for defamation against you, despite highly objectionable and provocative allegations and showed utmost patience, perseverance and restraint,” the legal notice said.

“Such (a) course was adopted by Jang Group, believing that someday wisdom would prevail amongst the leadership of PTI and the party would stop its policy of regression and intolerance towards difference of opinion and dissent.”

The legal notice issued on behalf of the Jang/ Geo Group has warned Khan to respond by February 3, failing which court proceedings will be initiated against him.