The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party supremo Imran Khan is facing another controversial battle ahead of general elections in Pakistan on July 25, that of a Rs 5 million defamation suit filed by a former part lawmaker after he accused her of horse-trading during the Senate elections earlier this year.
The complainant Bibi Fauzia, former member of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, filed the suit with the Peshawar district and sessions judge, Pakistan-based daily the Dawn newspaper reported.
On April 18, PTI chairman Imran Khan had not only named Ms Fauzia, but also alleged that as many as 17 other PTI party lawmakers sold their votes during the assembly polls. Ms Fauzia had been elected from Chitral for the reserved seat for women at the provincial legislature.
Additional district and sessions judge Shah Waliullah Hamid Hashmi fixed the preliminary hearing date on June 27.
Ms Fauzia denied the claims by saying that she had followed the party instructions by voting for its candidates for general and reserved seats. However, since then the party chief began "uttering, spreading and resorting to publication, communication and circulation of maliciously false, baseless and unfounded oral statements and representation" against her, Ms Fauzia claims, which were accusations of selling her vote for money made through electronic, print and social media.
She denied these accusations by taking oath on the Holy Quran, and also replied to the show cause notice issued by the PTI Secretariat within the stipulated time.
However, her insistance of holding an 'open inquiry' into the matter went unheeded, thereby charges of horse-trading remained unproven.
"I served a legal notice on Imran Khan under Section 8 of the Defamation Ordinance asking him to tender an apology but he failed to respond to it," she said.