LONDON: Private channel New Vision TV, the broadcaster of ARY UK, has apologized to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Ishaq Dar after losing defamation case over allegations of corruption, money laundering and misuse of authority.
The defamatory remarks were made in two news shows aired by the channel on July 8, 2019 and Aug 8, 2019. In the programme, PM’s aide Shahzad Akbar had alleged that alleging that Ishaq Dar was involved in money-laundering, corruption, and had looted billions of rupees belonging to Pakistan,
Shahzad Akbar had alleged that Dar had managed and actively impeded the work of the Financial Monitoring Unit in Pakistan by preventing institutions from accessing the systems. It was also alleged that Dar had taken these steps to “protect individuals involved in the Choudhury Sugar Mills money laundering case”.
In an apology to Ishaq Dar at the London High Court, NVTV has accepted that its allegations against Dar were false, fabricated and baseless. The TV channel has agreed to pay damages and legal costs to Ishaq Dar for the hurt, embarrassment and defamation it had caused him.
ARY UK said it accepts that “Mr Dar never managed the Financial Monitoring Unit, never impeded its work, nor did he do anything to protect anybody in any case including the alleged Choudhury Sugar Mills case”.
Launching his case at the London High Court, Ishaq Dar had claimed that the allegations made in both of these programmes were understood to mean that he had stolen money from the Pakistani government and was willing to pay it back if allowed to return to Pakistan; that his bank accounts have been traced and they contain large sums of stolen money, in the region of one billion dollars; that he issued death threats and that he was responsible for preventing the Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) and other key institutions from working, including being involved in fraudulently protecting the individuals who had been involved in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills money laundering case.
Dar had claimed that the imputations conveyed by the publications constituted very serious defamatory allegations of which he was reported to be guilty as a matter of fact. Dar had claimed he suffered very serious harm to his reputation and has suffered considerable hurt, distress and embarrassment.
Dar denied all allegations as politically motivated witch-hunt and claimed damages for libel, including aggravated damages and a full apology and retraction of all allegations.
Commenting on the outcome of the case, Ishaq Dar said, “Alhamdulllah. 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 but Allah SWT has been most kind and the TV channel has accepted in the UK judicial process that the allegations were fabricated, false and untrue,” he added.