AG serves legal notice on HRW -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

AG serves legal notice on HRW

ISLAMABAD, Feb 16: Attorney General Malik Mohammad Qayyum on Saturday served a legal notice on the Human Rights Watch (HRW) for placing on its website his alleged conversation with an unidentified person discussing “massive election rigging plans”.

He asked the HRW to immediately remove the “defamatory audio recording and news item from the website, cease and desist from publicising it, issue a public apology with the same degree of prominence and pay him a sum of Rs300 million as damages for defamation”.

The notice also seeks the source of the “fabricated audio conversation so that an action may be taken against him”.

The US-based human rights group on Friday released, what it claimed, was an audiotape of the attorney general acknowledging that the general election would be “massively” rigged.

The HRW said a journalist had made the recording during a telephone interview with Malik Mohammad Qayyum when the latter took a second call without disconnecting the first, allowing his end of the second conversation to be overheard and recorded.

SENATE MOTION: Five opposition parties on Saturday submitted an adjournment motion to the Senate secretariat seeking a debate on the controversial tape.

The motion has been signed by the Leader of the Opposition in Senate, Mian Raza Rabbani, Prof Khurshid Ahmad, Dr Safdar Ali Abbasi, M. Enver Baig, Farooq Hamid Naek, Dr Babar Awan, M. Ishaq Dar, Asfandyar Wali, M. Latif Khan Khosa and Prof Sajid Mir. It said that such acknowledgement by the attorney general showed the government’s intension to rig the elections.

Mr Rabbani said that curbs on the media and the threat given by the caretaker information minister, read with the “conversation” of the attorney general, were a “clear proof” that the government intended to steal the elections.

Source: Dawn
Date:2/17/2008