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Altaf issue not discussed during Cameron visit: UK

03 July, 2013

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ISLAMABAD: British High Commissioner Adam Thomson on Tuesday said the issue of MQM chief Altaf Hussain was not thrashed out during the visit of British Prime Minister David Cameron to Pakistan.

In response to a query during his press conference at British High Commission, he said the investigation was an independent matter of the London Metropolitan Police, therefore, he could not comment on it.

"We have received MQM's memorandum and we are evaluating it," he added.

Replying to a question about investigation against Hussain, and a protest against the British Government in Karachi, the British High Commissioner said investigation was being conducted by the London Metropolitan Police, which is an independent body.

Elucidating details of Cameron's visit, he said the British premier and Pakistan agreed to further expedite their joint efforts to fight terrorism as it is the common threat to Pakistan, UK and world.

Thomson said Prime Minister Cameron said the UK would work in partnership with Pakistan and provide expertise in support of Pakistan developing strategy on counter terrorism.

He said the recent visit of British premier would go long way in further expanding Pak-UK relations.

The British High Commissioner said both the countries had similar views on Afghanistan and want a durable solution of its issues to bring peace there.

Thomson said the Britain premier during his meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also offered to provide more equipment to tackle the scourge of improvised explosive devices and extend support to Pakistan in improving the security of its infrastructure. He said home secretary will visit Islamabad soon to extend cooperation to Pakistan in this regard.

He said the visit of UK Premier David Cameron to Pakistan was first ever visit of any world leader that indicates tremendous importance of Pakistan for Britain.

Moreover, the Supreme Court has turned down a petition that sought a declaration that Muttahida Qaumi Movement leader Altaf Hussain is an alien enemy of Pakistan for making a demand for Karachi's secession from the country in his May 11 speech.

While rejecting the petition against Altaf, a three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry noted, "We are not in the position to admit the petition filed by Watan Party and the petitioner may proceed in accordance with law and reach at other available legal forums."

The petitioner submitted a notification obtained from the ECP which stated that Dr Farooq Sattar was the duly elected deputy convenor of the MQM. However, the bench noted that since the petitioner had no claim or grievance against Dr Sattar the court would not entertain the petition.

Barrister Zafarullah Khan contended that only an elected convener could head the MQM, but the party did not have an elected head.

End.

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