Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman and former Prime Minister Imran Khan announced on Wednesday that he will take legal action against Pakistani channel “Geo News”, its anchor Shahzaib Khanzada and Dubai-based businessman Umar Farooq Zahoor for levelling baseless allegations against him for selling an expensive wristwatch that he bought from Toshakhana, ARY News reported.
This comes a day after businessman Umar Farooq Zahoor claimed that Farah Khan, a close friend of Khan’s wife Bushra Bibi, met with him in Dubai and sold him the expensive Graff wristwatch, which was gifted by the Saudi Crown Prince to Imran Khan. Taking to Twitter, Imran Khan, as quoted by ARY News, said, “Enough is enough. Yesterday Geo and Khanzada supported by Handlers slandered me through a baseless story cooked up by a known fraudster and internationally wanted criminal.”
The former prime minister further said following the allegations he has spoken to the lawyers and plans to sue Geo, Shahzaib Khanzada and the fraudster not only in Pakistan but also in the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates. On Tuesday, Zahoor claimed that Farah Khan met with him in Dubai and was instantly interested because the luxury watches were “rare and priceless”.
“[She] told me the history of the watch and said that they were gifted to Imran Khan by the Saudi prince. She said she wanted to sell these on Imran and his wife’s behalf,” Dawn quoted Zahoor as saying. Zahoor recalled that he was in awe after seeing the watch because it was a “limited edition piece, very rare in the world”.
He said he got an appraisal of the watch done as well, according to Dawn.
“They [the PTI] wanted to sell the watch for USD 4 to USD 5 million, but after negotiations, I purchased it for USD 2 million,” he said, adding that the payments were made in cash on Farah Khan’s insistence. The Toshakhana issue over the sale of state gifts received by Imran Khan became a major sticking point in national politics after the Election Commission of Pakistan disqualified the PTI chief for making “false statements and incorrect declaration.”
“In March 2019, former accountability minister Shahzad Akbar said that he had a set of watches and if I was interested, I should reach out to Farah [Khan] (a close aide of Imran’s wife Bushra Bibi) as she needed help and didn’t have any asset buyer,” Dawn quoted Zahoor as saying in an interview with Geo News.
But, Akbar denied that he had ever met or talked to Zahoor, according to Dawn.
Recently, in October, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), in its verdict in the Toshakhana case disqualified Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief and former Prime Minister Imran Khan and ruled that he is no more a Member of the National Assembly. The ECP stated that Imran Khan submitted a false affidavit and was found involved in corrupt practices.
Meanwhile, on September 19, in the Toshakhana case hearing, Imran Khan’s counsel Ali Zafar admitted that his client had sold at least four presents he had received during 2018-19.
“The gifts were sold for Rs 58 million and their receipts were enclosed with the income tax returns filed by my client,” the lawyer apprised the ECP.