ISLAMABAD: British authorities assured Pakistan on Saturday that London police will examine the August 22 speech of MQM founder Altaf Hussain that stoked rioting in Karachi, according to the interior ministry.
The federal government received a formal response from the United Kingdom on a reference it sent last month against Altaf for inciting his followers in a telephone speech to attack a media house in Karachi.
The British Home Office has sent the Pakistani government’s reference to the Metropolitan Police for further perusal, an interior ministry spokesperson confirmed. The British government has also condemned the violence in Karachi, he added.
Pakistan hands evidence against Altaf to UK
The Metropolitan Police will examine and analyse all the evidence sent by Islamabad with utmost consideration. If there is a need for more evidence, the Pakistani government will be approached through the British High Commission, the official said quoting from the British response.
The spokesperson said the British authorities have assured Islamabad that the Metropolitan Police was completely free in fulfilling its responsibilities.
The interior ministry sent the reference against Altaf to the UK on August 30 for his provocative statements against Pakistan and inciting his supporters to violence. The British government was asked to initiate legal action against those responsible for inciting people against the media.
The reference stated that Altaf not only violated British laws but also breached international laws and should be convicted accordingly. Evidence of Altaf’s incendiary speech, instigating the mob to violence was also given to the British government.
According to sources in the interior ministry, the reference also contains a copy of the FIR registered against Altaf for his outburst against Pakistan along with photographs in which his MQM workers can be seen attacking media houses and creating a law and order situation.
MQM linked to 'over 70 bank accounts in UK'
On his visit to Karachi on August 24, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar vowed to send an official reference against Altaf to the British government for his anti-Pakistan speech and instigating his party workers to attack media houses.
No demand for extradition of the MQM founder, who has been living in London since 1992, was made in the reference sent to UK on August 30.
Altaf’s August 22 speech not only led to unrest in Karachi but also saw his party dissociating itself from the leadership based in London. The MQM’s Pakistan-based Coordination Committee, led by Dr Farooq Sattar, took over the party’s command, disassociating himself from the party’s founder.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 11th, 2016.
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