LONDON, May 14: Scotland Yard confirmed on Monday that it had received a “substantial number of calls and emails” from Pakistanis after Altaf Hussain, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader, made a speech on Sunday and said that if the “establishment’ doesn’t like the mandate of his party, it should go ahead and detach it from the rest of the country.”
Referring to sit-in protest by Pakistani Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) at Teen Talwar in Karachi, Altaf Hussain had said that he had stopped his followers from confrontation but will allow them to go ahead if their patience is tested beyond limits. A Scotland Yard spokesman said on Monday: “We have received a substantial number of calls and emails from Pakistanis. We are aware of the comments and why we are being approached but no formal investigation has been started. We are looking into these complaints.”
The News is aware that Pakistani student groups, political activists and individuals approached the police and the Home Office to state that Mr Hussain had urged violence in the city of Karachi in the telephonic address. Lots of these calls were also made from Pakistan on a police number that was distributed on social media sites.
There is no chance that the British government would initiate a public inquiry as it would not like to be involved in a messy Pakistani affair, but it may quietly speak to Pakistani political parties in the UK not to say or do anything that disturbs law and order situation on its own soil.
The MQM’s Rabita Committee member Mustafa Aziziabad told The News that Altaf Hussain’s opponents were spreading “baseless and negative propaganda” about Hussain’s speech. “Altaf bhai only spoke about the continuous negative propaganda about elections in Karachi.
Analysts and anchors were continuously saying negative things about Karachi without any evidence, not mentioning anything about other parts of the country. He actually spoke in favour of Quaid-i-Azim and Allama Iqba’s Pakistan.”
Meanwhile, Pakistani students from various student societies and activists gathered outside Pakistan High Commission to register their protest against the alleged vote-rigging. Called on a short notice but attended by nearly 500, the protestors called for re-election in several constituencies and alleged that the MQM and Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) were involved in effective vote-rigging and used dirty tricks to deprive the PTI of its mandate.
Several students said their relatives in Karachi and Lahore were not able to vote because obstacles were created for them. They said that opponents of Imran Khan were uniting forces against “change” and were shaken because the youth of Pakistan has become active.
Ayesha Khan, a City Law School student, said: “It is our democratic right to have a fair and transparent election. Our right to vote has been sabotaged by the powerful, some have been caught red handed, others not allowing the results to be announced and clear victories have turned in close margin defeats over night.”
Amna Hayat, a student at the University of Edinburgh, said due to examinations she was not able to go home and cast her vote.
“The unfair violation of this right by MQM and PML-N is absolutely unacceptable! This peaceful protest in London is an attempt by the overseas Pakistanis to voice our anger at the situation, and show the rigging parties, the ECP, the Pakistani Government as well as the world that we will not tolerate this injustice,” she said.
Vishal Shamsi said that he had helped organise the protest because “we feel extremely helpless here sitting and doing nothing while our families and friends are out on the street protesting in Karachi and Lahore”.
The National Union of Pakistani Students and Alumni (NUPSA) said that the 11 May elections were to decide the future of Pakistan, and it seems that despite a 60% voter turnout claimed by CEC of Election Commission of Pakistan Fakhruddin G Ibrahim, the people’s mandate was not respected.
“We demand the ECP to conduct an impartial investigation of riggings done across the country and conduct re-elections under the supervision of Pakistan Army senior officials and international observers,” NUPSA said in a statement, sent to The News