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London police investigating complaints against Altaf Hussain

Updated May 15, 2013

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MQM chief Altaf Hussain. – File photo
MQM chief Altaf Hussain. – File photo

ISLAMABAD: The London Metropolitan police has been flooded with complaints by hundreds of British and Pakistani citizens against MQM chief Altaf Hussain, British High Commissioner to Pakistan Adam Thomson said Wednesday.

Adam Thomson told newsmen that London Metropolitan police had received hundreds of complaints from British and Pakistan citizens against Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain's recent statements.

"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," said the British High Commissioner.

Responding to a query about the further course of action over the case he said that it was up to the police and not for the British High Commission, or the British High Commissioner, to say what they will do next.

In a speech televised across various media channels Sunday night , Altaf Hussain 'threatened' to separate Karachi from the rest of Pakistan if the public mandate of his party was not accepted.

"What we say 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," Thomson said.

He added that the London police was independent to investigate the complaints and was under no pressure from the UK government.

He, however, observed that Altaf had later denied making such statements.

"It may be that they were never said or they have been retracted. But as far as the United Kingdom is concerned, we have very strong laws which are enforced on that prohibit the incitement to violence or incitement of hatred. And we take these laws seriously."

Responding to another query about extradition, the British High Commissioner said that that Pakistan and United Kingdom have no formal extradition treaty. He said that extradition "is complicated in the UK Pakistan case as there is no extradition treaty. It doesn’t make it impossible, but it does make it quite difficult."