ISLAMABAD: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement on Saturday criticised as “maliciously slanderous” a BBC report
A seven-member delegation of the MQM Rabita Committee visited the British High Commission and submitted a protest memorandum to the deputy high commissioner on Saturday. The memorandum stated that the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) documentary against MQM and its chief was maliciously slanderous and such things should be stopped. It claimed that the MQM believes in media freedom but a media trial is unacceptable and falls in the definition of defamation. MQM’s delegation was headed by RC convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui. Its other members were Khwaja Izharul Hasan, Faisal Subzwari, Farooq Sattar, Farogh Nasim, Sardar Ahmed and Nasreen Jalil.
MQM leader Barrister Farogh A Nasim has sent a letter to BBC’s correspondent Owen Bennett-Jones citing his objections over a report recently run by the BBC in relation to his party and the murder of Dr Imran Farooq. In the letter, the MQM leader said MQM chief Altaf Hussain was not wanted in any case as opposed to what the report suggested. He also refuted the impression that the MQM was losing its grip on Karachi. Nasim cited examples of the May 2013 general election and results of by-elections as evidence that the party still enjoyed considerable support in the country’s financial capital.
Nasim also alleged that opposing parties were propagating negative information against the MQM. The BBC report drew considerable attention with it identifying the names of two key suspects in Farooq’s murder. Following the airing of the video report on BBC’s Newsnight program, MQM leaders said their party had no links with the two men identified in Jones’ account. According to the text of the letter, Barrister Farogh Nasim has demanded re-broadcast of his complete recorded interview in the documentary film.
He said unfortunately the MQM version was not given proper coverage and in the report it was tried to damage the image Altaf Hussain in the documentary film. It seems that political opponents misguided the British broadcaster. “I had also mentioned that the police had taken the laptop of Mr Hussain’s 10-year daughter and coin-boxes maintained as a hobby by Mr Hussain and his daughter; how these items could have a bearing on money laundering,” Farogh Nasim questioned.
He said: “Many politicians from all over the world had a huge assets-base in the UK and I was surprised to note that why only MQM with paltry funds was being questioned on money laundering.” Farogh Nasim said the MQM leadership in the UK were British citizens and were part of the British society; and that they would not go anywhere but stay in the UK. Earlier Nasim had said the allegations raised in the video report were baseless and the party would initiate legal proceedings against the BBC.
Meanwhile, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement postponed a protest demonstration in the city scheduled for Saturday against the BBC report, which it termed “controversial and prejudiced” towards the MQM, for a day to avoid “possible inconvenience to the general public during a working day”. “Our leadership does not want to create any difficulties for the general public, which is the very reason we moved our protest for Sunday,” said Wasay Jalil, an MQM spokesman. However, sources in the MQM, said that the governor, who had gone to London for three days, was expected to return on Sunday.
The MQM on Thursday claimed that the life of Altaf Hussain is in “serious danger”. In his message to the nation, the MQM chief claimed that fake cases were being framed against him at the international level, but he would not bow before foreign pressure. Altaf Hussain urged the MQM’s coordination committee, elected representatives and workers to remain vigilant as “conspiracies were being hatched against him”. He said that attempts had always been made to bring him and the party into disrepute by levelling fabricated allegations.
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