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George Galloway

Galloway sets up fund for filing case against MQM chief

LONDON: British member of parliament George Galloway MP has decided to embark on civil legal proceedings against the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Altaf Hussain and a fund is being set up to pursue the case.

George Galloway, the Respect MP for Bradford, met his legal representatives from HKH Kenwright and Cox Solicitors in parliament and instructed the legal team to set up a legal appeal fund called ‘Galloway’s Such Fund’ (GS Fund) which the MP intends to use for the “legal proceedings against the presence in the UK of Altaf Hussain and his activities co-ordinated from the UK but gravely affecting Pakistan”.

A spokesman at the Law Firm, HKH Kenwright and Cox, confirmed that initial discussions have taken place and various options are now under consideration. The spokesman said that “senior” counsel will be instructed in “due course”.

Details of what action will be taken are not clear as yet but the possible areas of action could involve legal proceedings to revoke Hussain’s citizenship, judicial review of Home Office’s decision to grant him the British passport in the first place, money-laundering allegations, pressure on authorities to bring action for criminal offences such as incitement of violence from British soil.

In the first stage, funds will need to be raised to bring the proceedings. Evidence will then be collated and presented to expert Counsel to advice as to the possible course of action which could be taken, including presenting the information to the Crime Prosecution Service (CPS) and encouraging them to act.

This is not the first time that civil legal proceedings have been considered by Altaf Hussain’s opponents.Around six years ago, Imran Khan had announced his plans to bring legal proceedings but dropped the option a few months later and complained that the Pakistani government was unwilling to help him. But a lawyer who then worked with Imran Khan on this case has said that Khan dropped the case after the British government persuaded him to drop the case.

Zulfikar Mirza, the former Sindh Home Minister, made a lot of noise about initiating a case against Hussain but left London unsuccessfully.Metropolitan Police are currently investigating the MQM leader over an alleged broadcast in which Altaf Hussain threatened to “separate” Karachi from Pakistan and allegedly threatened violence against democratic protesters. That address prompted more than 12,000 complaints to the Metropolitan Police. The MQM leader retracted his statement and his party leaders emphasised that his words were being twisted by the party’s political opponents.

Following that, Imran Khan’s party launched protests in London but was then told by the party high command to cool down and wait for the next call. The MQM also held a counter demonstration outside its secretariat and said that attempts were being made by powerful quarters to “silence” the liberal party.

It is interesting to note that whilst Imran Khan openly accused Altaf of being behind the murder of senior PTI official Zahra Hussain, this was also echoed by George Galloway, who tweeted that he held Altaf Hussain responsible. Hussain’s party has vehemently denied having anything to do with the murder of the PTI leader.

George Galloway, who is a recipient of Hilal-i-Quaid-i-Azam award and Hilal-i-Pakistan awards, has been close to Benazir Bhutto and has spoken on Pakistan related issues quite a lot. He is known as an outspoken and highly controversial figure in the British politics. He was famously ousted from the Labour Party after he publicly led campaign against Tony Blair over the Iraq war but went on to win seats twice from the Labour heartlands of Bethnal Green and Bow and Bradford.

Galloway’s detractors have accused him of being close to Saddam Hussain, Iranian President Ahamdijanad, Hugo Chavez and Bashar Al-Aasd. Galloway says he is only against the “imperialist” wars.

Courtesy : The News .


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