ISLAMABAD - The federal government yesterday sent a formal reference to the British government against London-based MQM founder Altaf Hussain on the charges of inciting violence inside Pakistan.

“We have dispatched a reference against Altaf Hussain to the government of the United Kingdom for inciting violence in Pakistan,” a spokesman for the Ministry of Interior said.

The spokesman said the reference consisted of violent speech of Altaf Hussain he delivered from London and also evidence relating to incitement to violence to create chaos in Pakistan.

The reference states that Altaf Hussain had committed a violation of British as well as international laws, demanding action against him as per the British laws. The British government has been asked to take legal action against those responsible for inciting people to cause mayhem in Pakistan.

The federal government had decided to file a reference against Altaf Hussain after the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) workers allegedly attacked media houses in Karachi on August 22 following his anti-Pakistan speech. The MQM leader, in his speech, had also asked his workers to attack those TV channels which did not broadcast his speeches. The exiled leader had also used objectionable remarks against the country, the army and the Rangers.

After the incident, the federal government took the Sindh government on board and asked the latter to share all evidence against Altaf Hussain regarding incitement to violence. The purpose was to share the evidence with the London Metropolitan Police with the demand of an action against the MQM chief who is comfortably living in self-exile in London, a senior officer of the Interior Ministry said.

The official sources in the Ministry of Interior say the Sindh government provided all the evidence available with it against the MQM founder, including video footage regarding the attack on media houses and a copy of the FIR containing charges of incitement to violence against him.

The government believes the British government would not take action against Altaf Hussain concerning his remarks against Pakistan, its army and the Rangers on the pretext of freedom of expression laws. However, the charges of incitement to violence would be a compelling case against the MQM chief in the UK. The government has also decided to appoint its legal counsel in this case.

Separately, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan awarded commendation certificates and Rs 100,000 each to the two Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) officials for arresting Raja Arshad Mahmood, the main accused in Barrister Fahad Malik murder case.

In a statement issued here, the minister appreciated the performance of Assistant Sub Inspector Shafiq Azam and Khalid Khan who were on duty at Torkham Check Post from where Arshad was arrested. Shafiq Azam had arrested the culprit on the indication of Khalid Khan.