KARACHI: A rather unknown weekly publication is facing legal proceedings, after it published a defamatory article against a reputed officer of Pakistan Customs Service (PCS).

Deputy Collector of MCC Port Qasim Athar Naveed has served a legal notice on the owner, editor and correspondent of the publication for damaging his reputation through a frivolous as well as indecent article.

Muzaffar & Company Advocates, the counsel for the above-mentioned officer has demanded of the owner of the said publication named Zulfiqar Ali and Editor Rahil Yasin to dismiss Sohail Rab Khan from service and initiate disciplinary action against him for writing a baseless and highly defamatory article targeting an officer of impeccable integrity.

The management of the said publication has been warned through the legal notice that legal proceedings, be it criminal or civil, may be initiated against them as well as a claim of Rs250 million.

Sohail Rab, highlighted Deputy Collector’s personal life with high exaggeration and passed judgments on the officer’s psychological state, which reflects upon the mentality and brought up of this so called journalist. Moreover, he was disrespectful about the Collector MCC Port Qasim.

“This is an outright attempt to blackmail the government functionaries who are performing their duties which displeased the associate of Sohail Rab Khan who appears to have been hired to indulge in an act of duty and tax evasion to cause loss of revenue to the government inform of Custom duty and taxes,” the notice read.

Rab’s associate Imran visits Custom Offices and deliver the so called weekly newspaper free of cost and advances threats to government functionaries who try to check the consignments, which this man Imran comes to get cleared.

Imran often visits Customs for the clearance of consignments comprising toys, baby items, strollers etc which are highly under-invoiced as well as the classifications of these goods are also misdeclared. The said publication is used to pressurize and blackmail the government functionaries.

“This Imran advanced threats that an article by Sohail Rab will get all the officers removed from their seats if the PCT is not accepted as per his declaration. However, Athar Naveed, a man of principles did not succumb to these threats and the declared values and PCT were not accepted,” the notice said.

“As a supervisory officer, Ather Naveed initiated in-house audit of past clearances of the consignments which Imran was instrumental in getting cleared so that evaded duty and taxes, if any could be recovered. Imran then openly threatened the officer to defame him publicly through digital and print media. It is so regretful that people who project themselves as journalists and media men have resorted to blackmailing to make quick money and has stooped so low as to resort to criminal act of misdeclaration, evasion of Custom duty and taxes and even blackmailing,” the notice read.