A Pakistani court has asked Prime Minister Imran Khan in a defamation case filed by PML-N chief Shahbaz Sharif for an early hearing of his lawsuit against the president of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), which is pending for three years.
Imran Khan claimed in April 2017 that Shahbaz Sharif allegedly offered him $ 61 million through a "mutual friend" to withdraw the Supreme Court's Panama Papers case against the 70-year-old former prime minister and his older brother Nawaz Sharif.
Nawaz Sharif, who is currently in London for treatment, is the Supreme of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). He was disqualified from the Supreme Court as Prime Minister in the Panama Papers case in 2017.
Three corruption cases – Avenfield Properties, Flagship Investment and Al-Azizia Steel Mills – were registered by the anti-corruption agency against the Sharif family in 2017 after a Supreme Court ruling that disqualified him.
However, Imran Khan did not name the person who allegedly offered him $ 61 million on behalf of the opposition leader in the Shahbaz Sharif National Assembly.
The Lahore District and District Court added Friday's Shahbaz Sharif's early hearing request on June 10, alleging that Imran Khan had not submitted a written response in the past three years, which did not result in any material proceedings led the case.
"In a total of 60 hearings in this case, Imran Khan's lawyer applied for the adjournment 33 times. In the last hearing, the court was informed that Imran Khan's chief adviser, Babar Awan, could travel to Lahore from COVID-19 and not from Islamabad The court adjourned the hearing on June 22, "a lawyer from Shahbaz Sharif told the court.
According to the law, Babr Awan could not appear in court to defend Imran Khan because he had become his advisor.
In his petition, Shahbaz Sharif called on the court to issue a decree to recover $ 61 million in compensation for the publication of defamatory content in his favor, causing great damage to his public reputation.
After hearing the arguments, Sohail Anjum, Imran Khan, gave a written answer for June 10 for additional districts and sessions.
PML-N spokesman Marriyum Auranzeb spoke to the media after the court informed Imran Khan: "Imran Khan will no longer qualify for Articles 62, 63 of the Constitution if he fails to provide an answer in the event of a 10 billion rupee defamation. " I ask Imran Khan to answer in court about his allegation that Shehbaz Sharif offered him 10 billion rupees in hush money. "
She said if Imran Khan does not submit a response to the court on June 10, he will be "officially labeled" as a "liar" and will no longer be morally eligible to serve as a member of the National Assembly and Prime Minister of Pakistan.
"Does a lying, incompetent and unqualified person deserve to be the leader of the Pakistani nation," she asked.
Marriyum Auranzeb said Imran Khan had been an Absconder in this case for three years and had delayed the process 33 times.
"Likewise, he has been an overseas foreign-finance excepter in the past six years and the 23-secret account case in the past two years," she said.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)