Alleged vilification: MQM, PTI set for legal fight

File defamation suits against each other.

Imran held Altaf Hussain responsible for the attacks, while Altaf condemned the attack and demanded the government immediately arrest the culprits.


In a tit-for-tat move, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Tuesday announced that it would file a defamation suit against Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) top leadership for character assassination of the PTI chairman Imran Khan.

According to the PTI leaders, the party had formally announced to start a legal battle against MQM chief both in the United Kingdom and Pakistan. This announcement came a few hours after the MQM filed a defamation suit against Imran Khan in the Sindh High Court (SHC).

“The PTI will file a Rs10 billion defamation suit against the MQM chief whose statement affected the credit of my party’s leadership,” said the PTI spokesperson Dr Shireen Mazari.

Earlier the MQM leaders Farooq Sattar and Senator Farogh Naseem on Tuesday went to the Sindh High Court and filed a suit against Imran Khan for the MQM chief Altaf Hussain’s alleged character assassination in the wake of Zahra Hussain’s murder. The leaders demanded that the PTI pay a compensation of Rs5 billion or tender an unconditional apology.

Dr Mazari said Imran would take the final decision after consulting lawyers about the nature of legal battle. “The PTI is likely to file a case against the MQM top leadership for PTI leader Zahra Hussain’s assassination as well as Altaf’s alleged involvement in inciting violence through his public broadcasts,” she said, adding that the party was consulting lawyers to file a defamation suit against the MQM.

The MQM leaders told The Express Tribune that they had dispatched a legal notice to the PTI leadership following their accusations but had received no response.

“Imran Khan’s statement would undermine the probe into Zehra Hussain’s murder and the PTI leader’s remarks are tantamount to provocation,” Dr Farooq Sattar maintained.

MQM leaders said that Imran, who talked about justice, had implicated Altaf Hussain in the murder within half hour of the incident despite the fact that neither a case had been registered nor investigation opened.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 24th, 2013.


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