ISLAMABAD: A district court dismissed on Monday a defamation suit against Muniba Mazari, United Nations' goodwill ambassador, filed by her former husband accusing her of distorting facts of their relationship and injuring his repute.
Khurram Shahzad had sought Rs10 million in damages in the suit filed in December of last year.
He had claimed that Mazari distorted facts of their relationship after their separation and painted him in poor light.
Hasan Murtaza Mann, Mazari’s lawyer, had filed a response to the suit and at the same time challenged its maintainability.
“This incompetent suit deserves to be buried at its very inception so that the valuable time of this learned court may be saved and frivolous litigation be avoided,” he stated in his appeal to the court.
Her counsel also raised a point that the plaintiff had served no notice prior to filing the suit which was a legal requirement and thus the suit was barred by the law.
Court issues notice to Muniba Mazari
Mann told The Express Tribune that Additional District and Sessions Judge Muhammad Jehangir dismissed the case after the plaintiff withdrew their complaint.
“The court had given them three chances for arguments and to submit their reply to our rejection application but they failed to do so. Subsequently, today [Monday] they withdrew the suit and the case was dismissed,” the advocate added.
Shahzad, on the other hand, said the case had not been dismissed, rather he had withdrawn it due to a technical reason. Shahzad said he had not given Mazari a 14-day notice as required by the law, saying he would serve her a notice and file the case afresh.
Khurram Shahzad, a former Pakistan Air Force and now a commercial pilot, married Mazari in December 2005 and she divorced him in 2015.
The couple met a tragic car accident near Jacobabad on Feb 27, 2008, which left Mazari wheelchair-bound.
Shahzad said while he tried to promote Mazari’s paintings in an effort to bring her back to normal life.
He added that she started interacting with foreigners in Islamabad’s diplomatic circles and developed her interest in modelling and singing – something, according to her ex, was against the values of his family.
Muniba Mazari appointed UN's first woman Goodwill Ambassador to Pakistan
“Similarly, being an esteemed officer of defence forces, the plaintiff could not allow the defendant [Mazari] to continue such practices,” Shahzad said in his petition.
He said Mazari left his house out of her own free will in 2014 and filed for divorce the following year.
As Mazari gained media popularity and started regularly appearing on national TV, Shahzad claimed [in the now withdrawn petition] that she distorted the facts of their relationship after their separation and painted him in poor light.
He particularly mentioned her 2015 TedTalk when narrating her story she said: “Six and a half years back I met a car accident. I was travelling from Quetta to my hometown Rahim Yar Khan."
The ‘driver’ slept and car fell in the ditch”. Disputing this, Shahzad said it was her who was sleeping at the time while he was behind the wheel.
In another show, as per the petition, Mazari said Shahzad had managed to jump out of the car and save himself.
“The words ‘He managed to jump out and saved himself’ used for the plaintiff are extremely painful and unbearable for the plaintiff and his family,” read the initial petition.
“By showing plaintiff very cruel and selfish person, the defendant [Mazari] is seeking attention and sympathy and eventually high rating through national and international media.” Shahzad, who is now married to another woman and has a three months old baby girl, said his family was also deeply depressed to see this insult to him.
He had demanded Rs10 million in damages for the mental agony, torture and injury to his repute due to Mazari’s comments on different forums.