Pakistan has not provided enough evidence against Altaf Hussain, says British High Commissioner

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ISLAMABAD: British High Commissioner to Pakistan Thomas Drew on Wednesday said Pakistan has not provided substantial evidence to carry out legal action against Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain in the reference dispatched to London.

“We need solid evidence from Islamabad against Altaf Hussain [in regard to inciting people to violence in Pakistan]to take a legal action against him,” Drew told Leader of Opposition Syed Khursheed Shah in a meeting at the Parliament House.

Acknowledging the dossier dispatched by Islamabad, the High Commissioner said, “It does not carry enough material that can help in taking any legal action against Altaf.”

Shah urged Drew to convince British authorities to act against Hussain, and said the MQM chief was “causing problems for Pakistan while sitting in London”.

“We demand an immediate and stern action against him (Hussain),” Shah said.

“The MQM chief’s derogatory remarks against Pakistan and anti-Pakistan slogans are totally unacceptable to each and every person here,” added the leader of the opposition.

The Ministry of Interior on Tuesday had dispatched a reference against MQM’s “dissociated” chief to United Kingdom government, accusing the former of inciting people to violence in Pakistan.

The reference talked about Hussain’s “vicious speech” and contains evidences related to inciting people to create chaos, read a statement issued by the ministry.

“Action should be taken against him (Hussain) according to British laws,” said the reference, adding that the said person not only violated British but also international laws.

The UK government was further asked to initiate legal action against those responsible for inciting people to violence in Pakistan.

Hussain’s speech

Altaf Hussain’s diatribe last week took many by surprise who were convinced that state institutions will use the speech as a justification for a strong action against MQM activists.

Parts of the speech that went viral on social media minutes after the violence broke out in the city’s south districts showed that while addressing the MQM workers protesting outside the Karachi Press Club against “enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings of workers”,

Hussain not only raised slogans against Pakistan but also called the country “a cancer for entire world”.

“Pakistan is cancer for entire world,” he said. “Pakistan is headache for the entire world. Pakistan is the epicentre of terrorism for the entire world. Who says long live Pakistan…it’s down with Pakistan.”

The MQM supremo later apologised to the military for his ‘anti-Pakistan’ remarks and, in a statement released by MQM Spokesman Wasay Jalil on Tuesday, announced he would be handing over party affairs to the Coordination Committee in Pakistan.

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