Reham Khan book controversy now involves legal notices and we can barely keep up

Reham Khan book controversy now involves legal notices and we can barely keep up

Will the Reham-Hamza Twitter spat be settled in court? Here's what we know so far
05 Jun, 2018

Reham Khan and Hamza Ali Abbasi have traded legal notices in the most recent development in their Twitter spat over the former's upcoming book.

Reham has served Hamza a legal notice for spreading "several false defamatory communications, statements and representations... against [her]", including serious allegations like "receiving GBP 100,000 from N-League, Shahbaz Sharif" and producing "purported email exchanges [between her and Ahsan Iqbal] allegedly hacked from her email account".

The legal notice demands a "proper and unconditional apology" from Hamza Ali Abbasi within 14 days, failing which Reham will initiate a 5-billion rupee defamation lawsuit against him.

Hamza, on the other hand, claims that he has also sent a legal notice for defamation to Reham Khan. Reham has not acknowledged receiving Hamza's legal notice.

But the upcoming legal battle appears to be involving more than just Reham and Hamza.

A separate legal notice made a surprise entry in the news cycle yesterday, in which four individuals — namely businessman Sayed Zulfikar Bukhari, cricketer Wasim Akram, PTI Foreign Media Head Anila Khawaja and Reham's ex-husband, psychiatrist Ijaz-ur-Rehman — have claimed that Reham's book contains "a litany of malicious, false, incorrect, highly misleading, callous, wanton, tortious, prejudicial, damaging, libellous, and defamatory imputations” about them.

The legal notice, which states that the four claimants anonymously received a 600-page manuscript of her autobiography titled Reham Khan, demands that Reham agrees to the claimant's conditions within 14 days or a lawsuit will follow. The conditions include an agreement to not publish the manuscript in its present form, provide details of the sources of her manuscript and provide details of the websites where parts of the manuscript may have been published. The conditions also include an undertaking that she will not produce any more defamatory material against them.

Wasim Akram acknowledged the contents of the legal notice during his appearance on Geo News' Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath yesterday, saying, "It's sad such people exist in this world who for the sake of money will make such disgusting allegations against someone who isn't even alive... It shows the mentality of a person who is a compulsive liar whom I've only met once in my life." When asked if he will take the matter to court if Reham does publish her book, he said, "I will go till the very end, whether it's in the UK, US or Pakistan; I will get the truth out of her."

Anila Khwaja has also referred to the "vile allegations" described in the legal notice, saying that "like all the brave, hardworking women who strive to serve in politics to better our beautiful country, I'll neither be deterred nor demoralised from carrying out the mission I am here to do."

Reham Khan has not acknowledged receiving any legal notice. In her appearance on Geo News, she said, "Legal notices are meant to be heard, not splashed on TV screens. This is harassment." Reham also refrained from commenting on the contents of her book.