ISLAMABAD: British High Commissioner to Pakistan Philip Barton on Wednesday said the British government had nothing to do with a money laundering investigation against Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain.
Speaking at a seminar titled ‘The Future of UK-Pakistan Relations: A Departing Perspective,’ Barton said the case against Hussain rested with the London police, which is investigating charges against the MQM supremo.
On Pakistan's future, Barton said he believed the country was moving forward in four four crucial areas – "democracy, security, economy and regional relationships".
Sharing statistics which portray a 48 per cent decline in terrorism-related incidents, the British envoy saluted the bravery of Pakistan security forces over their successes in curtailing terrorism.
“Thanks to the UK-backed Counter-terrorism Associated Prosecution Reform Initiative, conviction rates in terrorism cases have increased from 5% to over 50% in Punjab and from 3% to over 30% in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” he said.
The British envoy argued that with democracy and a rapidly recovering economy, people in Pakistan now had more space to think about the future, demographic situation, environmental and economic challenges.
The London Metropolitan Police on Monday had informed MQM chief Altaf Hussain that his bail conditions, in an ongoing money laundering probe, had been removed as there was insufficient evidence to bring a criminal charge against him.
The money laundering investigation was launched after the Metropolitan Police discovered hundreds of thousands of pounds during two raids — one on an MQM office and another on Altaf Hussain’s residence in London. The raids were conducted in connection with the investigation into Dr Imran Farooq’s murder.