Conspiracy Theorists Put On Notice

Oct 16th, 2009 | By | Category: Uncategorized

Conspiracy theorists have finally been served notice. This week, Husain Haqqani served notice on The Nation after they published an allegedly defamatory article by Ahmed Quraishi. This comes after countless articles by Quraishi that attempt to cast the reputation of the Ambassador to the US in question. The legal notice also puts conspiracy theorists on notice: If you’re going to make some these claims, you had better have some evidence to back them up.

This week, Lahore daily The Nation was served legal notice for publishing a defamatory article against Mr. Haqqani. Ahmed Quraishi was a well-known supporter of Gen. Musharraf and seems to be completely obsessed with Husain Haqqani, writing about the envoy almost every day.

The article in question accuses Haqqani of blackmail and is based only on alleged conjecture by unnamed sources. Nowhere in the article does Quraishi provide any evidence that can be verified by independent parties, nor does he reveal any of the “unnamed sources” that supposedly told him the story. With a complete lack of evidence to support Quraishi’s thesis, Haqqani’s lawyers have demanded an immediate retraction and apology from The Nation for publishing the story.

The Nation, the newspaper that published the article in question, is edited by Dr. Shireen Mazari, who was famously referred to by Khalid Hasan as “the Ann Coulter of Pakistan,” and has been a thorn in the side of the Pakistani government and its Ministers and Ambassadors.

Haqqani’s lawyers filed the notice of libel pursuant to Defamation Ordinance, 2004 read with other enabling laws. They said the statements published in the newspaper are false and defamatory and such “malicious and reckless defamatory statements impugn the reputation of our client”. They demanded the newspaper publish, and post on its website, a written and unqualified apology within 14 days of the receipt of the notice, including a passage stating: “Today, we acknowledge that the ambassador has acted ethically, morally, and legally and retract the statements we made to the contrary. We apologise to the Pakistan ambassador to the US for the unfounded attacks made on his reputation.”

The ambassador’s legal counsel has also demanded the newspaper remove the defamatory article from its website immediately. However, it added, the newspaper must “preserve and not alter any paper or electronic files and other data generated by/or stored on your computers and storage media relating to matters addressed by this Notice of Libel”, adding failure to comply might result in sanctions being imposed by the court and liability in tort for spoiling evidence or potential evidence.

It would seem that Mr. Haqqani has finally had enough of Mr. Quraishi’s obsessive conspiracies, and has served notice not only to The Nation but to conspiracy theorists across the country that enough is enough.

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