Islamabad -

The British police have taken notice of hundreds of complaints lodged by British and Pakistani citizens against MQM chief Altaf Hussain for his recent remarks inciting violence.
“The London Metropolitan Police are looking into the floods of complaints and may take action soon,“ British High Commissioner to Pakistan Adam Thomson told a press conference on Wednesday, pointing out that Altaf had later denied making such statements.
Thomson however said MQM’s chief’s statements must be taken seriously and noted that under British laws promotion of hatred and inciting violence is liable to punishment. London Police was independent to investigate the complaints and was under no pressure from the UK government, he added.
Asked what could be maximum punishment for any person found guilty of hate speech and inciting violence, he said the accused can face imprisonment. To a question about prospects of extradition of MQM chief, who is wanted in various cases in Pakistan, the High Commissioner said that Pakistan and UK did not have any formal extradition treaty. He said his extradition was possible but there were legal complications associated with the process.
In an ominous sounding speech on Sunday night, Altaf Hussain told ‘the establishment’ to separate Karachi from the rest of Pakistan if the public mandate of his party was unacceptable, and warned to ‘make an example’ out of PTI protesters at Karachi’s Teen Talwar (three swords). The statements created uproar across the country, after which the party came up with the stance that Altaf’s statements were rhetorical and his remarks were ‘misinterpreted’ by the media.
Answering a question about recent statements of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who had said Afghanistan does not recognise Durand Line as international border with Pakistan, Thomson said such efforts cause destabilisation. “It is shared challenge for Afghanistan and Pakistan to surmount,” he said adding that good news was that there was increasing military to military cooperation to tackle challenges related to terrorism.
To another question he said that United Kingdom desires improvement in Pakistan’s relations with its neighbours, particularly India. Earlier in his remarks, the British High Commissioner said that despite some shortcomings, May 11 general elections were technically the best ever in Pakistan’s history. He was of the view that international community has hailed Pakistan’s democratic process that would further enhance Pakistan’s relations with other countries, especially with the United Kingdom.
TheNation Monitoring adds: London Metropolitan Police have started collecting evidence about MQM chief Altaf Hussain’s controversial statement, BBC reported on Wednesday, citing a senior official.
Police spokesman James Hume said Altaf Hussain’s speech that drew countless complaints from Britain and Pakistan was being restated [into English] as a decision to investigate them [complaints] had been finalised.
The London police have dispatched text of Altaf Hussain’s speech to the home department for translation in English. “We would see what course of action should be taken once we get all the evidence,” said the police spokesman said.
Asked under what law interrogation was being carried out, the spokesperson for London police said what law had it would be decided once a copy of translation was acquired and reviewed.
Asked if police could investigate anyone, Hume said this would also be decided in the light of the translation of the speech.
It is to be mentioned here that while commenting on Saturday’s election outcome, the MQM chief said on Sunday that the party would not be able to stop its workers from reacting if their mandate was not accepted. If anyone did not like MQM’s mandate, then Karachi should be separated from rest of the country, he added.