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Daily Mail cannot respond Shehbaz Sharif legal notice in 14 days: Ayaz Sadiq

31 July, 2019

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British newspaper Daily Mail has said in a letter that it cannot respond to former Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif’s legal notice in 14 days, PML-N Vice President Ayaz Sadiq said in a press conference in Islamabad on Tuesday.

“We write to confirm that we believe that we will be unable to reply to your letter by your requested deadline of 8th August,” Sadiq quoted Daily Mail as saying in a letter sent to the PML-N president.

Shehbaz, who had served as Punjab chief minister from 2008 to 2018, last week served a legal notice to the British newspaper and its journalist David Rose for accusing him of embezzling public funds in a news story published earlier this month.

Sadiq maintained that proper investigation was not conducted before publishing the story, and if the paper had any evidence it would have replied in four days.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Accountability Shahzad Akbar, meanwhile, had claimed that the lawsuit was not filed in a court rather the notice was served to the publication only.

Responding to the claim, Ayaz who is a former National Assembly speaker, said according to the British law “pre-action protocol of defamation” needed to be followed. He said the PM’s aide, despite being a barrister, did not even know that before filing a lawsuit, an applicant needed to serve a complaint letter to the defendant.

Criticising the government’s economic policies, the PML-N leader said the tenure of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf had now started to seem better than that of PTI. “Their [PTI] conduct is against the business community and such an attitude was not even witnessed during the era of dictators,” he said.

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