Days after Pakistan's Health Minister claimed former Prime Minister Imran Khan of consuming heavy amounts of drugs and alcohol, the PTI chief slapped a Rs 10 billion defamation notice against him.
According to Khan, Minister Abdul Qadir Patel his claims were "disparaging and malicious" claims.
Patel on Friday addressed a press conference on the medical reports of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party chief issued after the collection of samples at the premier Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) here following his arrest in the Al-Qadir Trust corruption case on May 9.
Imran Khan is a drug addict
The health minister said the report indicated excessive alcohol consumption, no information about a fracture on his leg, and unstable mental health. He said that the report does not have any details about the fracture on his foot, which Khan claimed he sustained following the November 3 assassination bid. Patel also alleged that the initial report of 70-year-old Khan’s urine sample revealed findings of toxic chemicals, “the likes of alcohol and cocaine”.
The legal notice, filed under the Defamation Ordinance, 2002, was served to Patel on account of the “dissemination and circulation of wrongful, baseless, false, misleading, erroneous, malicious and defamatory information” against Khan.
The notice claimed that through the press conference, the minister “dishonestly…alleged” that Khan's medical tests showed traces of alcohol and cocaine in his urine sample and that the former premier’s “mental stability” was “questionable” in addition to “some appropriate gesture”.
How “alcohol and cocaine consumption can be traced through a urine test"?
The notice questioned how “alcohol and cocaine consumption can be traced through a urine test”. It continued that the medical report “failed to mention” that Khan “incurred head injury on the day of his illegal arrest”, and that “there are no details of a full trauma examination”.
“The report emphasises a lot on the mental state of our client [Khan]; however, no details of mental state examination have been provided,” it stated.
According to the notice the health minister’s remarks were made “knowingly, consciously, willingly, deliberately and maliciously which is highly irrational and negates the principles of ethics and morals”.
It further added that the comments were “also in violation of the standards and ethics which members of [the] Federal Cabinet must possess and display”.
It maintained that Patel was “responsible and liable for the defamatory circulation and dissemination” which caused “a loss” to the PTI chief’s “goodwill, injury to his reputation and adversely affected his honour”.
"Imran Khan is mentally stable"
“Likewise, you have also caused emotional trauma, mental agony, anguish and distress to our client”. The notice demanded that Patel “retract” his statements in the same “mode and manner” in which they were made, and “tender an unconditional apology and admit” that he “misstated”.
It further called the minister to pay “Rs 10 billion for defaming…and levelling false allegations” against Khan, adding that the money would be “donated to Shaukat Khanam Memorial Cancer Hospital”. The hospital is run by a trust under Khan.
It asked Patel to “refrain from repeating and making further defamatory comments”. The notice warned that if the demands were not fulfilled within 15 days, Khan would be “compelled to institute legal proceedings”.