Sale of book on Benazir's life canceled, notices served to author, publisher.
Syed Abida Hussain KARACHI: Oxford University Press (OUP) has "temporarily" suspended further sales of "Special Star: Benazir Bhutto's Story," a book authored by senior politician Abida Hussain. "We have taken a decision to suspend temporarily further sales of the book," Ameena Saiyid, founding director of the Karachi Literature Festival (KFL) told Arab News. "As a global publishing organization, the accuracy and quality of our publications are our foremost priority. We have taken cognizance of the points raised to OUP in the contest of the title "Special Star: Benazir Bhutto's story," authored by Syed Abida Hussain," said Saiyid confirming that she has been served a legal notice from Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari, daughter of Benazir. Confirming the legal notice on Twitter, Bakhtawar wrote, "Yes I have. Disgusted. Absolute lies against my mother, 10 years after her death, when she cannot defend herself. Will not stand for it. Appalled at OUP Pakistan and KLF for entertaining such fabricated, no referenced garbage." Pakistan's former ambassador to the US, Abida Hussain, however, claims she has written nothing that is not factual. When asked, Hussain expressed shock and told Arab News that, "I am surprised at the legal notice as the former prime minister was my friend and all I have shared in the book is completely based on truth." She added that she has said nothing negative about the former prime minister. Hussain had come to Karachi for the launch of her book at the KLF but says she is still hopeful about the launch of the book during the Lahore Literature Festival. "We will undertake a thorough review of the book's content, in consultation with the author, experts, and our own editorial team," said the director of the KFL. "Scholarly integrity lies at the core of Oxford University Press' mission and we take matters that could potentially compromise that integrity very seriously," she added. Speaking from a Karachi hotel where the festival was underway, Mr. Sarif, an official at the book mart stall said: "We removed the books from our stall after it was banned." A notice served to the Oxford University Press and author Abida Hussain urged for OUP to cancel the launch of the book due to its "wrong assessment of Benazir's life."
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