ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday attended the proceedings of Additional District and Sessions Judge Muhammad Adnan’s court in Islamabad through e-court from his office in the presence of his lawyer Senator Waleed Iqbal in the defamation case, filed against Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN) leader Khwaja Muhammad Asif.
A 22-page affidavit was submitted by the prime minister in which he termed the allegations false, fabricated and defamatory. The affidavit, bearing date of Dec 6, 2021, states that Imran Khan was Shaukat Khanum hospital’s biggest individual donor from 1991 to 2009, and clarified that the decision making regarding investment schemes of Shaukat Khanum Trust was done by an expert committee in which there was no interference of any kind from Imran Khan. Apart from this, these baseless and fabricated allegations regarding the investment schemes of Shaukat Khanum were fully recovered by Shaukat Khanum Trust without any loss. It was also clarified in the affidavit that such fabricated and baseless allegations were used to undermine the confidence of people in the Shaukat Khanum Trust through the national media.
PM Imran stated that the damage caused by the allegations is hard to assess, but he had claimed Rs10 billion damages from the PMLN leader. In a statement, Premier Imran said that e-court proceedings were a welcome step, as such proceedings save both valuable time and money of the court and the e-court proceedings would help settle cases on time.
He said that the judiciary and government agencies deserve commendation over successful introduction of e-courts. Referring to the allegations, he said people have confidence in Shaukat Khanum Trust, which is the only free cancer treatment hospital in the world, and that it is unfortunate to use such a welfare scheme for politics by making baseless and fabricated allegations.
He was hopeful that by giving an exemplary verdict on such allegations, the court would help end the tradition in future. On Aug 1, 2012, Khwaja Asif had for the first time levelled these allegations in a news conference, held at Punjab House and later on, the same evening, in a private TV programme he repeated the allegations.
Meanwhile, PM Imran said for the first time in the history of the country, the government had come up with such a comprehensive programme of poverty alleviation and social protection: New Pakistan Health Card is a unique health insurance programme that is unparalleled in the world.
He added that completing public welfare projects on a priority basis was the top priority of the government. He stated this while presiding over a review meeting on ongoing public welfare, social security and poverty alleviation and basic health projects in Punjab.
The meeting was given a detailed briefing on health card and Ehsaas ration discount program. From January to March next year, all the families of Punjab will be provided free medical facilities up to Rs1 million. The meeting was also briefed on the progress made on subsidy provided to low-income families under the Ehsaas ration discount programme and its expected positive outcomes in poverty alleviation. The meeting was also briefed on the successful youth programme, New Pakistan housing and sports drive. The meeting also discussed the strategy for local bodies elections in Punjab.
Expressing satisfaction over the plans, the PM ordered for completing the ongoing public welfare projects in a timely manner. The meeting was attended by federal ministers Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, Shafqat Mehmood, Hamad Azhar, Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Senator Saifullah Niazi, Member National Assembly Amir Mehmood Kayani, Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar and Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid.