Why is Altaf Hussain not tried in UK?

MQM flag

When Quaid-e-Tatheer Pir Altaf Hussain Bhai made threatening speeches covered here, quite a lot of people wanted to know if he could be tried under UK law. Someone sent me the following laws under which he could be tried in UK for his hate and murder inciting speeches.

Section 18(1) Public Order Act, 1986 – using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent to stir up racial hatred.

Section 23 Public Order Act, 1986 – threatening, abusive or insulting recordings of sound, with intent to stir up racial hatred.

Section 59 The Terrorism Act, 2000 – Inciting Terrorism Overseas.

Section 1 The Terrorism Act, 2006 – Encouragement of Terrorism.

Section 4 Offences Against the Person Act, 1860 – whosoever shall solicit, encourage, persuade, or endeavour to persuade, or shall propose to any person, to murder any other person, whether he be a subject of Her Majesty or not, and whether he be within the Queen’s dominions or not, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and being convicted thereof shall be liable imprisonment for life.

So I asked my friend who is a solicitor in UK whether its just a viral email or are there really such laws in UK under which QeT Altaf Bhai can be tried. He had this to say

Section 18, 19, 21 and 22 can apply, although it is (weakly) arguable that his comments did not have a raci

Karachi by day, on the road

element to them and were directed to political opponents. Section 23 actually relates to possessing racially inflammatory material and is probably not relevant here (unless he possesses records of his speech). The problem is that Altaf did qualify his statements immediately after he made them and said that he was not threatening anyone and so it is necessary to look at the overall speech in context, rather than just selecting a few choice threatening statements. I haven’t heard it because I have a life.

The problem is that Altaf Hussain has been groomed by western governments due to the ridiculous amount of leverage he has over Karachi. Through him the British can shut off our only real port and that is an incredible advantage for one nation to have over another nation. They would be mad to give it up.

So unless Altaf Hussain really fucks something up against British interest, it is safe to assume that he will remain unharmed in UK.

UPDATE

The recent article published in Guardian also makes the same claim that British give Altaf Hussain protection because he is of help to them:

Altaf Hussain, the notorious MQM leader who swapped Pakistan for London

British interest in the MQM is largely driven by the perception that the party offers a defence against jihadis. But there is more to it than that. The MQM is British turf: Karachi is one of the few places left on earth in which the Americans let Britain take the lead. The US consulate in Karachi no longer runs active intelligence gathering operations in the city. The British still do. When it comes to claiming a place at the top table of international security politics – London’s relationship with the MQM is a remaining toehold.

And there’s something else. The FCO’s most important currency is influence. Successive Pakistani governments, when they are not demanding Hussain’s extradition, have included his parliamentary bloc in various coalition governments. From the FCO’s point of view, it’s a great source of access. Right on their doorstep, in London, they have a man with ministers in the Pakistani government.

For its part the UK government insists there is nothing unusual about its contacts with MQM and that its meetings with MQM officials are: “a normal part of diplomatic activity around the world”. I spoke to a British official recently about the MQM and asked why the UK government, so keen to declare its commitment to human rights, seemed so willing to deal with the party despite officials privately saying that it uses violence to achieve its goals. She said: “There is one thing I can assure you of – it’s not a conspiracy.” Which in a sense is true. It’s not a conspiracy. It’s just policy.

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