Akbar, while addressing a press conference in Islamabad, recalled that Sharif had issued a formal legal complaint against the publication and had deemed the “gravely defamatory” news report to be part of a politically motivated campaign against him.

Akbar claimed that the complaint issued via London-based legal firm Carter-Ruck Solicitors did not refute any specific allegation made against Sharif, nor did it say that a case had been filed against the publication. According to Akbar, although the complaint stated that the article did not include Sharif’s version, it included his son’s version and his office had also been contacted. He said the complaint stated that reporting the story had not been in the public’s interest. “How was it not in public interest?” Akbar asked, adding that this statement required clarification.

Akbar said that nowhere in the four-page complaint were the allegations in the article denied. “Not one word in the story [was] refuted,” he asserted.