PPP files defamation case against businessman, Indian publisher

Islamabad: The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has filed a Pakistani Rs.2 billion (about $20,000) defamation suit against a business tycoon and an Indian publisher for levelling a series of allegations against former president Asif Ali Zardari, media reported Wednesday.

Sadruddin Hashwani, a Karachi-based illustrious businessman, accused in his biography that the former president was involved in the 2008 bombing at Marriott Hotel in Islamabad that killed over 50 people, Dawn online reported.

"We have filed the defamation case against Hashwani in Sindh High Court (SHC) after he did not respond to our 15 days notice," the PPP co-chairman's lawyer and the party's leader Senator Farooq Naek was quoted as saying at a joint press conference. In his biography "Truth Always Prevails" Hashwani also alleged that Zardari wanted to grab some of his properties. The book has recently been published by an Indian publisher Penguin Books.

On Dec 16 Zardari served a legal notice of Pakistani Rs. 2 billion on Hashwani, Penguin Books and Liberty Books in Karachi. Naek said the local book-seller had tendered an apology and informed the PPP that it was no more selling the book, but Hashwani and publisher Penguin Books did not respond to the legal notice. He said the first hearing of the case would be held in the SHC Feb 6.

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