The National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) senior officer and former NAB Lahore DG Shahzad Saleem on Friday served a legal notice on Tayyaba Gull for involving him in her recent interview in which she levelled serious allegations of sexual harassment against former NAB chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal and then prime minister Imran Khan for using her videos to close cases against himself.
“DG Shahzad Saleem offered my husband to hold a joint press conference against NAB Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal and demanded the videos,” Tayyaba Gull claimed in the interview, pointing out that Shahzad Saleem offered her husband to sit with him and reveal everything against the then NAB chief.
Tayyaba Gull also claimed that her videos were misused by Imran Khan to close cases against himself and other Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders.
She also claimed that she met Imran Khan, his personal secretary, and Shahzad Saleem after posting her videos and material on a portal seeking action over the sexual harassment she allegedly faced.
“Yes, I met Shahzad Saleem as he was part of that team that took me there at the NAB office. I can’t forget Shahzad Saleem,” said Tayyaba Gull.
The allegations have shaken the foundations of the entire anti-corruption watchdog.
Taking notice of the allegations, Shahzad Saleem served a legal notice on Tayyaba and said she made fake, fabricated, prejudicial and defamatory statements, seriously damaging and devastating his and NAB authorities’ long-earned and well-maintained image, stature, fame, reputation and goodwill.
“Your (Tayyaba) statements as, partially, described above were falsely, carelessly, unprofessionally, misleadingly and un-journalistically, fabricated and then aired via various interviews, TV shows, social media outlets and print media,” read the legal notice.
It also said, “Your misinterpreted, false, misleading and defamatory statements portray a completely different picture than the actual, factual and on-ground reality.”
Shahzad Saleem also said that Tayyaba’s allegations were considered to be a sheer denial and broad daylight infringement of all rights and privileges available to him under articles 4, 5, 9, 10 A, 14, 18, 23 and 24 of the constitution.
He said he believed in the enforcement of his fundamental rights and observance of statutory obligations and compliance with articles 4 and 5 of the constitution.
“You, Ms Tayyaba Gul, have cunningly, mechanically and deliberately targeted Shahzad Saleem and the NAB authorities for extraneous considerations, evil designs, and machinations pursuant to a tangible mala fide, vendetta and a long fostered noxious agenda to defame and devastate his name, reputation and stature,” the notice read.
The former DG said that the sole purpose/aim of the allegations – arbitrarily but malignantly modified – and twisted statements in question was apparently to malign, harass and defame him as well as the NAB.
The NAB officer also sent copies of the legal notice to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and the Ministry of Interior as well as the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) for taking swift appropriate action against Tayyaba for falsely and frivolously maligning, disrespecting him and the NAB authorities.
He also asked the PEMRA, FIA, PTA and the press council to issue directives to TV channels, social media outlets, newspapers, etc to stop/halt any and all malicious campaigns against him and the NAB authorities.
Shahzad demanded Tayyaba to immediately cease and desist from the existing and ongoing defamation, tender an unconditional apology and promptly submit a written assurance within seven days that she would cease and desist from damaging his reputation further.
He also asked her to apologise over her remarks and allegations on both electronic and print media, and pay him Rs100 million as compensation; otherwise, he would be entitled to initiate a legal battle against her.