Islamabad: The government is cautiously weighing its options and proactively pursuing Altaf Hussian’s case on the diplomatic front before initiating a legal battle against the Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief for his ‘anti-Pakistan outburst’.
Officials engaged in preparing a legal reference against Altaf said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had made it clear that the government would not engage in any legal battle against the MQM leadership in the United Kingdom.
“Pakistan wants the British government to take action against the MQM chief based on ‘documents’ Islamabad is going to hand over to London Police,” a senior official at the interior ministry said on Tuesday.
“We fear that if we file a case, it is bound to fail—British laws might not support our arguments,” he said, adding that taking up the case to the UK should be the government’s first option.
He advised that the government should also look into the option of possible extradition of the MQM chief from London after signing—if legal hurdles are cleared— an extradition treaty with the British government but also said that it might involve more complications as the extradition of Baloch separatists, seeking asylum in the UK, also remain a test case for Islamabad.
As a last ditch effort, the official said, the government must continuously push London to help Islamabad on a reciprocal basis by linking cooperation in Imran Farooq’s murder case with action against Altaf.
This interior minister, who has been vigorously involved in a verbal battle with the MQM chief, said the government would approach British authorities in a few days to file a legal reference against Altaf.
“Work is already under way in this regard—Altaf Hussain should stop using provocative speeches against the armed forces, law enforcement and intelligence agencies,” Chaudhry Nisar Ali told the media at a ceremony in Islamabad.
Blaming Altaf for instability in Karachi, Nisar claimed that his [Altaf’s] ‘foul speeches’ worsen Karachi’s situation. “Karachi’s situation worsens when Altaf uses foul language in his speeches,” the minister said.
Meeting with Philip Barton
Stepping up with the matter, the interior minister held a meeting with the British High Commissioner Phillip Barton to discuss the issue of MQM’s top leadership
Nisar shared detailed proof of Altaf’s speeches against the state institutions with the top UK diplomat in Islamabad.
Three ministries, including interior, foreign affairs and law and justice, the Pakistan High Commission in London and senior officials at the Prime Minister’s House are preparing the legal reference against the MQM party head, the official at the ministry revealed.
Meeting with Lord Nazir
Interior Minister also discussed the issue of MQM’s leadership with Lord Nazir, a member of the British House of Lords.
Both of them discussed the legal aspects of the case, informed officials said. Nisar sought his suggestions on how to take the case forward.