British High Commissioner to Pakistan Adam Thomson on Wednesday said the British government had taken notice of the statement made by a Pakistani-origin British citizen and chief of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Altaf Hussain, saying Altaf could face legal action if allegations against him were proven.
Addressing a media gathering at the UK High Commission, Thomson said legal action would be initiated against Altaf Hussain if allegations regarding his statements proved correct.
Thomson confirmed that the British Metropolitan Police had received several complaints against an alleged statement of the MQM chief in which he asked for separation of Karachi from Pakistan and threatened protesters.
He noted that, “the second thing is, is that unlike some countries in the world, the British police are fiercely independent of British government. And it is for the British police to investigate allegations of incitement to violence or incitement to hatred. And to make a judgement on whether they can bring a successful prosecution”.
“Of course we are well aware of Altaf Hussain’s remarks immediately after the election. We received quite a number of representations on them. More to the point, the London Metropolitan Police have been flooded with complaints from both Pakistani and British citizens about those remarks,” the high commissioner said.
“What we say,” Thomson stated, “is that wherever somebody has a concern that hatred or violence is being incited, that one community or another is being turned against others, this should be reported to the police. And I know that they take such allegations very, very seriously indeed.”
He said, “Well you have to go through the whole extradition process for that. And as you know, that is complicated in the UK Pakistan case as there is no extradition treaty. It does not make it impossible, but it does make it quite difficult,” Thomson added.
Thomson said thousands of complaints were sent to the London Metropolitan Police through e-mails, and phone calls, after the MQM chief addressed his supporters in Karachi where he allegedly threatened PTI supporters who were protesting against rigging, however, he said that the MQM chief had denied that he had given such comments.
The MQM chief’s statements created uproar across the country, after which the party clarified saying Altaf’s statements were rhetorical and misinterpreted by the media.
To the recent general elections in the country, British envoy was of the view that polls were overall held in a satisfactory manner.
Elaborating further, he mentioned that it was highly encouraging that all Pakistanis stood united for the sake of democracy and clearly rejected terrorism and violence.
The UK high commissioner official expressed confidence that these elections would play an important role in the development of Pakistan.
Thomson congratulated Nawaz Sharif on his victory and pledged to strengthen Pak-UK ties.