LONDON: Britain’s Home Secretary Amber Rudd has confirmed that she has been “lobbied” during her visits to Pakistan about the hate-speeches against Pakistan made by the London-based leader of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P).
During an appearance to answer questions of the Home Affairs Select Committee members, Bradford West’s Labour MP Naz Shah asked the home secretary to explain why no action has been taken against the founder of MQM who has been constantly making incitement speeches and provoking violence in Pakistan from his base in London.
Shah told the home secretary that the MQM leader has been “inciting violence and terrorism from our British shores, lives in London, makes hate speeches, incites violence through his speeches, which have led to lots of killings in Pakistan”.
Shah, who is member of the powerful Home Affairs Select Committee, reminded the home secretary about the founder of MQM’s August 22 speech last year which led to violence against media and a casualty. She asked why no action has been taken against the MQM leader and why it is taking so long.
The home secretary replied that the investigation into the founder of MQM’s hate-speeches is an “operation matter” for the Metropolitan Police, which is investigating this case. She confirmed that she gets “lobbied quite a lot when I go to Pakistan and other countries”.
Rudd added that she will “make sure that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the police have the support, where appropriate, to bring prosecutions”.
This is not the first time Shah raised the issue of MQM in the Select Committee. In August last year, Shah asked Scotland Yard’s chief Sir Bernard Hogan Howe to stop MQM leader’s hate speeches. She called on the Scotland Yard chief to investigate MQM founder’s speeches under the Terrorism Act of 2006. She had also asked the then home secretary to look into this matter seriously and ensure that British soil is not used for incitement of hatred against Pakistan and members of Pakistan’s law enforcement agencies.
Shah said earlier that she will continue to raise this issue until the British authorities act. She said that the MQM leader had every right to express his critical views and criticise Pakistan and its armed forces but has “no right to incite violence and use language which clearly is aimed at inciting terrorism and violence”.
She added that he is banned from Pakistan’s national television but has used social media platforms to urge his followers to attack individuals linked with Pakistan’s law enforcement agencies.
Scotland Yard confirmed to media last month an ‘International Letter of Request’ has been sent by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to the Pakistani authorities, seeking help in its investigations in relation to at least two speeches made by the MQM’s founder.
A spokesman for Scotland Yard said that a letter under “Mutual Legal Assistance” has been sent to Pakistan’s “competent authorities” in relation to two speeches made by the MQM leader on March 11, 2015 and Aug 22, 2016.
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