12/4/2016 8:20:27 AM
Detailed Answers given by Barrister Nasim in BBC Two Program NewsNight about the MQM
Posted on: 1/31/2014
Dear Editor/Director News
News Report broadcast on BBC Two about the MQM
A news report was broadcast in the programme Newsnight on BBC Two on 29th January 2014 at 10:30 pm BST in which baseless allegations were levelled against the MQM and its Founder and Leader Mr Altaf Hussain. A similar news report about the MQM was broadcast in the same programme sometimes back also and similar charges were levelled against the MQM. Unfortunately the MQM version was not given proper coverage and the report created a false impression that the MQM was loosening its grip and that the MQM leader Mr Hussain was accused of thirty murder charges besides many other things.
Barrister Farogh Nasim of the MQM had responded to all the allegations and questions raised by the BBC journalist Mr Owen Bennett Jones but his answers were not included in the report. We believe that it is against the norms of professional journalism not to include the proper version of the MQM in the report prepared by Mr Jones.
We are enclosing the detailed answers given by Barrister Nasim to various question asked by Mr Jones so that the position of the MQM regarding the baseless allegations becomes clear. We hope that you will publish or broadcast these answers for the benefit and general information of the people of Pakistan in general and the international audience in particular.
Engr Nasir Jamal
Deputy Convener and
In-charge Information Department
Muttahida Quami Movement
Detailed Answers Given By Barrister Nasim
Mr. Owen Bennett Jones
31st January, 2014
Dear Mr. Jones,
Re:- YOUR LAST PROGRAMME ABOUT MQM
I hope this email finds you in good health and spirits. I had a chance to watch your last programme on MQM. Do permit me to make the following comments:-
(a) in the programme it was mentioned that Mr. Hussain has been accused of many murders in Pakistan. The truth of the matter is that as it stands today Mr. Hussain is no longer accused or required in any criminal case in Pakistan. He has been acquitted in all the cases against him. Had you confronted me with this aspect a clarificatory statement could have been made to you. Without prejudice to this, please give me the details of any criminal case against Mr. Hussain available with you, so that a response through documentary evidence could be duly submitted for the BBC, British audience and your good-self;
(b) in the programme it has been mentioned that MQM’s opponents are of the view that it is losing its grip in Karachi. Again had you confronted me with this statement I would have clarified to you that the result of the 2013’s general elections, followed by the by-elections in the urban Sindh, squarely belie this statement of our opponents. You could have disclosed the identity of our opponents who are making such statements, so that we could have given an appropriate reply alongwith documentary evidence to your good-self and the BBC. Some of our electoral opponents had challenged before the Election Tribunal of Karachi the election results of some constituencies in which MQM has won. No verdict given by the Election Tribunal of Karachi till date, has gone against MQM. In all such cases the election petitions of the opponents (till date) have been dismissed. Again we could have given you documentary proof in this regard. Also you could have used your own resources to find out the electoral results of urban Sindh for 2008 and 2013 to come to a fair analysis for your own-self, BBC and the British audience that MQM has not lost any grip in urban Sindh. The allegation in this regard by the political opponents of MQM is nothing but a farce and this again proves my point that our political opponents incorrectly feed details to the British media, police and authorities about MQM. Please employ your own “due diligence”, which is some thing I had requested you, the British police and the authorities on your programme which was not televised; why this statement was deleted, I do not know;
(c) in the programme you have also telecasted about certain portions of speeches of Mr. Hussain. Again had you confronted me with such portions of the speeches, I would have made things clear. For example the particular portion of the speech by Mr. Hussain made to one Pakistani journalist based in London by the name of Azhar Jawed, regarding some “bags” was made in jest by Mr. Hussain. And the portion of Mr. Hussain’s speech in respect of the Three Swords Roundabout at Clifton, Karachi was in response to what the PTI supporters had said against Mr. Hussain i.e. “…that through the blood of Mr. Hussain the PTI will bring about change….”; and it was in response to this that Mr. Hussain had warned the supporters of PTI not to make such hateful inciting speeches otherwise he would not be able to stop his own supporters. In other words, Mr. Hussain was preventing any direct or collateral damage caused or sought to be caused by the hate-inciting speeches of the PTI workers. Again one would have to understand the context and the text of the things including the background facts;
d) I had also narrated to you the incident when British police had raided the house of Mr. Tariq Mir about 6.30 to 7.00 in the morning and told his wife that they were looking for guns; unable to find any weapon or guns the police taken away £ 1100 on the pretext that this was well beyond the threshold of household expenses and constituted money laundering. The 75 year British couple i.e. Mr. and Mrs. Tariq Mir were harassed. 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;
e) I had also informed you that MQM would always cooperate with the British police and authorities. I had stated that to constitute money laundering the funds had to be from the proceeds of crime, whereas the funds had found their way to MQM through verifiable and legitimate sources. It was the police which was taking dates in the money laundering cases and MQM was cooperating with it;
f) I had also stated that 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;
g) I also made a very candid remark that I had great faith in the British judiciary and the British civil society and have the best wishes for the UK but I did also say that the British police, authorities, civil society and media should not perceive the inputs from our political opponents as gospelled truth, while our political opponents were rampantly present in the UK; and that the British should exercise their own due diligence to know us better. At the latter statement you did say that it was a good statement on my part and you would make it a punch line of the programme;
h) I had also stated that 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.
Having met you, I was very impressed by your candid behaviour, soft, upright and good disposition, which the hallmark of the British, people that I have interacted all my life and who have trained me in their best institutions what they stand for i.e. honesty and integrity. Your programme has caused untold damage to MQM in Pakistan. All that I request you is that if you could kindly clarify the above on the BBC and also run my entire recording without any editing.
Rights are reserved.
SENATOR DR. FAROGH NASEEM
LLB (Hon)(Wales), LLM (London), PhD (London)
of Lincoln’s Inn, Barrister-at-Law
former Advocate General, Sindh
Advocate Supreme Court of Pakistan