By Sarmad Ali
Islamabad (Pak Destiny) “Zardari bombed Marriot Hotel Islamabad because I refused to give him my PC Bhurbhan”, Sadruddin Hashwani, Chairman Hashoo Group, owner of Marriot and Pearl Continental (PC) hotels in Pakistan and author of — The Truth Always Prevails — has alleged and for this he is served Rs1 billion notice for making such allegations against former president Asif Ali Zardari in the book.
The Pakistan Peoples Party chairman also served the notice to publishers of the book, Penguin Books in Haryana India and Liberty Books in Karachi.
PPP spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar said in a statement that the legal notice was drafted by Senator Farooq H Naek, senior advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, on behalf of Zardari.
The Truth Always Prevails was launched on Sunday in Islamabad and its excerpts have already been published in a number of media outlets.
The author held the former president responsible for the devastating suicide blast at his hotel, Marriot, in Islamabad in October 2008. He also accused Zardari of demanding PC Bhurbhan as a gift besides disallowing him a TV channel, Pearl, for not obliging him.
“The cumulative direct effect of the distortions in the book is to tarnish the reputation of Asif Ali Zardari and negate all his contributions to the state and society of Pakistan. The book is a brain-wave of an irresponsible person full of malice aimed at not only tarnishing the image of Zardari but also of the PPP and its workers,” stated the legal notice drafted by Naek.
The notice argued that Zardari believes in complete freedom of speech as guaranteed in Article 19 of the Constitution; however, the statements made in the book without proper investigation and verification were irresponsible and made with an ulterior motive.
The notice adds that the PPP chairman is entitled to Rs500 million in damages for loss of reputation and another Rs500 million for mental agony and torture.
The spokesperson said that the notice further asks the author and publishers to immediately withdraw the book from book stores, end the defamation campaign and give a written assurance within 14 days to this effect.
The counsel also warned that if the demands made were not complied with within 14 days, Zardari would be entitled to seek further monetary damages and equitable relief.
“In the event you fail to meet this demand, please be advised that our client has asked us to communicate to you that he will pursue all available legal remedies, including seeking monetary damages to initiate criminal proceedings under the law,” it stated.
Source told Pak Destiny that Zardari is upset over Hashwani’s allegations because he feels many will take Hashwani’s words seriously since he has no political interests.– Pak Destiny