Police on Tuesday clarified that the case against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif for delivering provocative speeches from London “to defame Pakistan’s institutions” was not filed on behalf of the state.

In a statement, a spokesperson of Lahore police said that a first information report (FIR) against the ex-premier and other senior PML-N leaders including Azad Kashmir’s PM Raja Farooq Haider was lodged on the complaint of a citizen.

The clarification from the police came after Prime Minister Imran Khan’s “extreme disappointment” over the development and strong reaction from the opposition parties.

The Shahdara police had registered the FIR on October 1 under sections 120, 120B, 121, 121A, 123A, 124, 124A, 153, 153A and 505 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and Section 10 of Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016 against the PML-N leadership.

The police spokesperson said the reports circulating in the media that the FIR was filed on behalf of the state or a state institution are not true and the case was filed on the complaint of a citizen, Badar Rasheed, son of Rasheed Khan, a resident of Mohallah Khurshid Park, Shahdara.

“While processing the application as per the rules, Shahdara police had registered the case under the provisions of the law,” he said, adding, “the investigations are underway on merit and action would be taken only against those found guilty of the charges”.

The complainant had claimed that Nawaz Sharif hatched a criminal conspiracy by delivering speeches from London on the electronic and social media on Sept 20, 2020 during the All Parties Conference (APC), and PML-N’s central working committee (CWC) and central executive committee meetings on Oct 1, 2020.

The complainant alleged that the former prime minister, in his speeches, supported the policies of India, and claimed that Nawaz wanted to give an impression that Pakistan would be listed in the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) blacklist in its upcoming meeting.

The citizen, in the FIR, claimed that Nawaz, in his speeches, wanted to divert the attention of people across the world from Indian forces’ atrocities in the Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and India’s occupation of the territory.

It also alleged that the former prime minister’s speeches defamed Pakistan’s high courts and armed forces in front of the international community.

The complainant further stated that the court had allowed Nawaz Sharif to go abroad for treatment on humanitarian grounds under special conditions, but he started maligning Pakistani institutions under a planned criminal conspiracy.

Besides Nawaz Sharif, AJP PM Raja Farooq Haider and three retired generals are among 40 PML-N leaders nominated in the FIR.