The Interior Ministry on Tuesday dispatched a reference against the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) founder to the British government, providing them with evidence against Altaf Hussain for inciting violence and disorder in Karachi through his speeches from London.
The reference consists of Altaf Hussain’s “vicious” speech and contains evidences related to inciting people to create chaos, read a statement issued by the ministry.
The reference added that the MQM founder had not only violated Pakistani laws, but also British and international laws and therefore the British government should take action against all those responsible for inciting violence and creating a law and order situation in Pakistan.
Workers and supporters of the MQM launched attacks on several media offices on August 22, followed by a Sindh-wide crackdown against the party.
Subsequently, MQM’s senior leader Farooq Sattar announced to disassociate the affairs of the party from Altaf, saying all political affairs would be run from Karachi from now on.
Meanwhile legal experts in the United Kingdom said if the crown prosecution service decided to charge the MQM founder, it could be under three different legal provisions.
There is a clause in the Terrorism Act 2006 in British law called the “Commission of Offences Abroad” and under this the minimum sentence is seven years, they said.
The clause states that a person has committed the offence of incitement of violence: “If— (a) a person does anything outside the United Kingdom, and (b) his action, if done in a part of the United Kingdom, would constitute an offence falling within subsection (2), he shall be guilty in that part of the United Kingdom of the offence. (2) The offences falling within this subsection are— (a) an offence under section 1 or 6 of this Act so far as it is committed in relation to any statement, instruction or training in relation to which that section has effect by reason of its relevance to the commission, preparation or instigation of one or more Convention offences”.
The second legal provision, the Incitement to Violence Bill 2005, carries a sentence of two years imprisonment.
“Section 4 of the Public Order Act 1986 (POA) makes it an offence for a person to use threatening abusive or insulting words or behavior that causes or is likely to cause another person harassment alarm or distress.”
Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 makes it an offence to send a message by means of a public and electronic communications which is grossly offensive, or of an indecent or obscene or menacing character.