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UK formally contacted over Altaf’s remarks, says Nisar

UK formally contacted over Altaf’s remarks, says Nisar

KARACHI: The federal government has formally contacted British authorities to take action against Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain for his recent “anti-Pakistan remarks” and inciting his workers to violence that led to an attack on television channels earlier this week.

The government vowed to pursue the matter more aggressively than the cases of Dr Imran Farooq’s murder and money laundering against the London-based leader.

This was announced by Interior Minister Chaudary Nisar Ali Khan while talking to journalists on Wednesday after his daylong engagements in Karachi, where he arrived with a single-point agenda to look into the situation developed after the MQM chief’s “anti-Pakistan” speech and violence in the city.

“We formally approached the British authorities two days ago,” he told reporters at Governor House.

“We have asked the British government that Scotland Yard and Metropolitan Police should take action under whatever details, data and evidence are available with them. It was our contact two days ago that led to a strong statement from the British authorities to condemn the attack on media houses. You would see more actions in this regard very soon.”

When asked by a reporter what guarantee the federal government could offer in the latest case when it had failed to achieve any conclusive result in the two previous investigations being conducted by British agencies against the MQM chief in Dr Imran Farooq’s murder and money laundering cases, the interior minister claimed that it was not the failure of the federal government and the British authorities had also not closed the cases.

“We pursued those cases as well with due commitment and sincerity but there is a delay from their [British authorities’] end in those cases and I don’t know why it is the case,” Chaudhry Nisar said.

“But this [the MQM chief’s recent speech] is about the sovereignty of the country. We would follow these investigations. We can’t compromise over this and you would see us pursuing the case aggressively.”

He called the MQM chief an “unfortunate man” who made such remarks for the country and the nation which offered him so much respect and name.

The interior minister, however, made it clear that no one should take Mr Hussain’s remarks as views of any group of society.

“I am a Punjabi, but I must say that the Urdu-speaking people are the most patriotic people of this country,” he said.

“No one in the Urdu-speaking community can support his [Altaf Hussain’s] remarks against Pakistan. So I have personally asked the administration and Rangers that they should be extra careful and take extra steps while carrying out their job. They should not even touch an innocent man because after this mistake he [Altaf Hussain] would try to pretend in the world that this [the Karachi operation] is a state operation again the Urdu-speaking community.”

He “congratulated” the people of Karachi for showing courage as, after the violent episode which involved the “city’s most powerful political party”, they did not allow anyone to make them hostage and there was no shutterdown in the metropolis.

“Karachi is not just Karachi, Karachi is Pakistan,” he said. “I congratulate the people of this city as they have decided now that they would no more become hostage to anyone. This momentum should continue and soon you will see such negative and violent elements disappearing due to this courage of this city.”

Published in Dawn, August 25th, 2016

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