LONDON- Chief of Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf Imran Khan’s nephew has sparked controversy at his university, after he tweeted controversial remarks about Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.
Hassan Niazi, who is studying for a Master's in International Human Rights Law at City University London, was a candidate for the position of Student Union President when the tweet about Bilawal Bhutto, of the Pakistan People's Party, was picked up by student journalists.
In response to a tweet about Bhutto hosting a cultural festival, Niazi who has worked in Imran Khan's political party in Pakistan, tweeted some controversial remarks.
Zoe Burdo, secretary of the LGBT society at City University, says: "He used inappropriate language. He used derogatory and offensive terms. Then when he was called out on it he defended it instead of apologizing."
Niazi subsequently lost his campaign to be president of City University's student union by two votes to Rima Amin, who will become the first female president at City University for 11 years. During the campaign, Niazi lodged a complaint to the union and called in his legal team to try and suspend the polling process. He says: "During the election campaign I was victimized, initially by being labelled as anti-Semitic, then homophobic and also as a racist. This forced me to lodge a complaint against my opponent and the people who published this material.
"I requested the suspension of polling until my complaint reached any conclusion. I got a disappointing response to my complaint and the vice-chancellor gave a very cold reply. I will again lodge an official complaint for the wrongdoing within the campus.” He further added, “I am a student of human rights and want to be a voice of every student. I would never say anything to hurt someone. I again reject these false allegations against me during the election campaign. I am not used to these terms. And if my tweet offended anyone I apologize. However the tweet was taken out of context to damage my election campaign. I believe this victimization also resulted in my loss by only two votes."
Scott Campbell, a student at City University who has been involved in setting up new student paper the Square, agrees that the controversy damaged Niazi's election campaign. He says: "He lost the election by two votes and he was in the lead before. I know a number of people who went and changed their votes."