Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari sent legal notice on Abida Hussain

Islamabad February 6, 2108: Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari has served legal notice through Senator Farooq H. Naek, senior Advocate Supreme Court of Pakistan and former federal Law Minister on Syeda Abida Husain for leveling, false, unsubstantiated and tendentious allegations against former Prime Minister Shaheed Benazir Bhutto in her book “Special Star- Benazir Bhutto’s Story”.

The notice on behalf of Ms. Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari Daughter of Mr Asif Ali Zardari and Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto has also been sent by Senator Farooq H. Naek, on Ms. Ameena Saiyid, OBE, Managing Director, Printer, Publisher, Oxford University Press and Festival Director of Karachi Literary Festival, Ms. Salma Adil, Regional Sales Director South, Oxford University Press, Karachi Literary Festival, Through its Founders Dr Asif Aslam Farrukhi and Ameena Sayid.

The notice reads “That alongwith the author of the book and the impugned statements, its printer and publisher as well as its circulator in Pakistan (Oxford University Press) who has circulated the defamatory book via its outlets without checking and confirming the contents therein are also liable for defamation.”

It further says” That you have irresponsibly and maliciously made, printed and published the aforesaid statements to provoke sentiments against the Shaheed Mohtarma Bhutto and her party and to politically malign and victimize the Pakistan Peoples Party. Although our client believes in complete freedom of speech as enunciated in Article 19 of Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 but in negation of its true spirit, the you have written, printed and published the impugned statements in the book mentioned supra against Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and her family without having properly investigated, verified and confirmed the complete and true facts.” And That alongwith the author of the book and the impugned statements, its printer and publisher as well as its circulator in Pakistan (Oxford University Press) who has circulated the defamatory book via its outlets without checking and confirming the contents therein are also liable for defamation.”

It further reads “That in view of the above our client is entitled to damages for mental torture, harassment, agony, humiliation which she, the workers and supporters of Pakistan Peoples Party have suffered and are undergoing at present because of wrongful acts on your part individually and jointly.

That our client is entitled for the following amounts for defamation due to publication which are quantified as under:

  1. a) Damages on account of Loss of Reputation – Rs.500 million.
  1. b) Damages for mental agony, torture and physical harassment – Rs.500 million.”

The notice also says “That it has come to our knowledge that the printer and publisher of the above stated book (Ameena Saiyid) is also a festival director of Karachi Literary Festival and is attempting to launch the aforesaid book through the Karachi Literary Festival on Friday 9th of February 2018. Ms. Ameena Saiyid is hereby specifically admonished to desist from launching the aforesaid book containing scandalous, libelous and defamatory statements against Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto on the 9th of February 2018 or any date thereafter at any venue whatsoever. Any attempt by Karachi Literary Festival to promote or propagate sales of the aforesaid defamatory book will be taken to be collusion on part of Karachi Literary Festival with author and publisher of the book, having common criminal intent to defame Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto which is punishable under the law and may make Karachi Literary Festival, its producer and organizer vulnerable to strict legal action.”

Spokesperson PPP said “Written ten years after Benazir Bhutto’s martyrdom and without offering any proof to substantiate her slanderous comments Abida Hussain’s account of Pakistan’s most popular leader in generations is an insult to the legacy of Shaheed Bibi and to the sensibilities of millions of her followers”.

The book begins with a false claim in the preface by the author of being a friend of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto to mislead the people.

Like the false claim of friendship with Shaheed Bibi most of the account and anecdotes about the former Prime Minister are also false and full of lies.

The book is a manifestation of the compulsive ego of the author to steal some limelight by claiming friendship with Shaheed Bibi and behind its facade give a totally false and misleading narrative. The author’s incorrigible arrogance and bloated and false ego were not the attributes that would have ever endeared her to Shaheed Benazir Bhutto.

It is a pity that the author chose to write a false account about Shaheed Bibi when she is no longer around to give her a befitting reply herself and lifted the veil behind claims of friendship with her.

“Special Star- Benazir Bhutto’s Story” is the product of a sick mind and a deceased soul. It is an outrage that is challenged”, Spokesperson of the party said in a statement today.