London [UK], October 19 (ANI): In a major embarrassment to Imran Khan-led government, former Pakistan's Finance Minister Ishaq Dar won a defamation case against pro-government media house New Vision Television (NVTV) at the London High Court.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Dar was accused of allegations of corruption, money laundering and misuse of authority, reported The News International.
NVTV had broadcast allegations made by Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Accountability and Interior Shahzad Akbar and the Reporters' Programme by Chaudhry Ghulam Husain and Sabir Shakir, alleging that Ishaq Dar was involved in money-laundering, corruption, had looted billions of rupees belonging to Pakistan, had foreign accounts containing billions of rupees, used undue influence over Financial Monitoring Unit and was involved in issuing death threats to a government official.
After Dar won the suit, NVTV aired an apology on its UK TV channel and agreed to pay damages and legal costs to the former Finance Minister for the embarrassment caused to him.
Dar has not stolen any money from the Pakistani government and no bank account of Ishaq Dar was traced, acknowledged NVTV, reported The News International.
About the allegations made by Shehzad Akbar, NVTV apologised and said, "On 8 August 2019, New Vision television broadcast the Powerplay programme. During the course of that programme, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Accountability and Interior Shahzad Akbar asserted that during the period Ishaq Dar was responsible for the Financial Monitoring Unit in Pakistan, he actively and improperly impeded its work, by preventing key institutions from accessing systems that would assist it in its functions. It was further asserted that Ishaq Dar had taken those actions to protect individuals who had been involved in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills money laundering case."
The apology concluded, "We unconditionally apologise to Ishaq Dar for the significant distress, upset and embarrassment which these broadcasts have caused him. We have agreed to pay Ishaq Dar substantial damages for libel and to pay his legal costs."
Shahzad Akbar had alleged that the Financial Monitoring Unit is a worldwide financial intelligence unit which is the best system designed to detect money-laundering, reported The News International.
Akbar added, "It exists under Pakistani law, since 2007. In the past five years, there has been one man who didn't let this institution function. That man was [former Finance Minister] Ishaq Dar. Ishaq Dar paralysed this institution. When Ishaq Dar exited, the FMU began to do some work, it was brought back to life to some extent. Global institutions had funded the software that was going to support the FMU's work but Ishaq Dar did not allow them to gain access. Now that he is a fugitive, gone away, it has begun to work and all these transactions are coming to the forefront."
Dar denied all allegations as a politically motivated witch-hunt and claimed damages for libel, including aggravated damages and a full apology and retraction of all allegations, reported The News International.
Commenting on the outcome of the case, Dar said, "Alhamdulillah. I have been vindicated at the UK High Court and justice has prevailed. The allegations made against me were false, malafide and evil. I have never been involved in corruption or any unlawful activity and never used any influence against any institution. The allegations made by the pro-government media house and Shahzad Akbar were aimed at damaging my reputation. It proves how our leader Mohammad Nawaz Sharif and his party colleagues have been subjected to political engineering and malicious campaign of lies." (ANI)