Pakistan sends letter seeking help from UK govt on BBC's MQM report

MQM's legal team is also preparing a strong rebuttle in response to BBC's report


Zahid Gishkori June 26, 2015
Meanwhile, MQM's legal team also prepares a letter demanding damages or an apology from BBC. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Friday dispatched a letter addressing the British government to provide access to key information on alleged ties between the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and the Indian government.

Earlier, a senior official of the Interior Ministry had said that the ministries of law and justice, and foreign affairs were helping with the content of the letter.

Read: Evidence found: RAW involved in Karachi unrest, says Sindh CM

"Latest disclosure about India's involvement in Pakistan's affairs confirms Islamabad's stance. Hopefully London will cooperate with us," the official quoted the draft.

The legal team of the interior ministry had worked on the letter which will later be sent to the UK and its high commission in Pakistan via the Foreign Office today.

Read: RAW behind terrorist activities in Pakistan: Foreign secretary

“Though it is a tough exercise, we have to sign an extradition treaty with the British government. Then we can formally ask for the extradition of MQM’s top leadership on charges of sponsoring violence in Karachi,” he told The Express Tribune.

The federal government will take a decision on the ‘course’ that should be adopted on this issue after receiving a response from the British government, he added.

Later, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that the government was in touch with the British authorities with a view to seeking information, facts of the report as its contents are of vital significance to the State of Pakistan.

Hours after Pakistan dispatched the letter, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan observed that BBC's MQM revelations have also raised questions about whether all the terrorist violence in Pakistan was sponsored from abroad.

“If there was revelation that an Indian political party had received funds from ISI, would it have been allowed to function for even a day in India?” Khan tweeted while referring to the position of MQM. Khan added that the MQM's only redemption lies in suing the BBC. “MQM has sued me and other PTI leaders plus media persons on frivolous charges,” Khan added.

Meanwhile, the government’s legal team is working on many grounds to take up this issue at international fronts, another official familiar with the development said.

We are going to take it to the United Nations, he said. After consultation with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, this issue would be taken up by Pakistan permanent representative Dr Maleeha Lodhi at the upcoming meeting of the UN Security Council, he added.

Analyst Tasneem Noorani observed that the official request to UK government regarding the BBC report for authentic information is over-optimistic, because, he said “the UK is unlikely to take position on a controversy between India and Pakistan.” The most crucial thing is the outcome of the Imran Farooq murder case, he added.

MQM writes to BBC

On the other hand, MQM's legal team has prepared a strong rebuttal in response to BBC's report and is all set to dispatch a letter to its
headquarter by today or tomorrow, a party leader told The Express
Tribune.

The letter seeks an unconditional apology, asking the BBC administration to pay damages. However, if it fails to do so, it must air the apology publicly, she added.

Read: Altaf refutes BBC's 'Raw agent' allegations against MQM

According to the MQM official, BBC's report has damaged the party's image who is known to promote peace in Pakistan as compared to other political parties in the country, she reiterated.

COMMENTS (18)

Abdul Rahman Khan | 6 years ago | Reply Besides many other helps the U.K. government could offer to Pakistan government viz-a-viz MQM or its leader Altaf Husain, a small step by U.K. will make a lot of difference. At the moment, Altaf Husain is facing allegations of serious crimes in London. He and members of his party's Rabita Committee should not be allowed to make any statement of political or otherwise nature whatsoever till such time as his cases are decided. This proposed step should be strictly enforced, more so if he is convicted. This will be a great favour in the larger interest of peace.
JSM | 6 years ago | Reply Have Pakistanis forgotten BBC's "Secret Pakistan"?
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