British Labor party member and parliamentarian Lord Nazir Ahmed has found himself in trouble again. This time it’s from allegedly placing bounties on U.S. presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.
According to The Nation, in a statement by the British Labor party, Nazir has been suspended after he made unacceptable statements last week. The party said about the suspension, “The international community is rightly doing all in its power to seek justice for the victims of the Mumbai bombings and halt terrorism. His membership was suspended due to the statement regarding US Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.”
The party plans to conduct an investigation into the matter.
Nazir has said he did not use the word “bounty” and stood by his position that Tony Blair and Bush should stand in front of the international criminal court over the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
But according to The Telegraph, Ahmed said at a Pakistan conference on Friday, “If the US can announce a reward of $10 million for the (capture) of Hafiz Saeed, I can announce a bounty of £10 million (for the capture of) President Obama and his predecessor, George Bush.”
He added that he would fix the bounty at “any cost,” including the sale of his own home.
The remarks came in response to the recent U.S.-issued $10 million reward for the capture of Pakistani militant leader Saeed. He is the founder of the Lashkar-e-Taiba group and is suspected of carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attacks that resulted in 166 deaths from terrorists actions in hotels and a train station.
In response to his suspension, Lord Nazir said he will continue fighting for Muslims’ rights and denied all allegations against him. He added that he will soon return to London and review the allegations.
Back in 1998, Nazir became the United Kingdom’s first Muslim life peer and since then, controversy seems to follow him from his Islamic political activities both in the country and abroad.
Persona Non Grata
Nazir’s previous misstep with the party came back in November. The AJK cabinet resolution declared him a “persona non grata” after reviewing Nazir’s “negative activities” against Pakistani democracy and institutions. This came after President Zardari expressed unhappiness with a liaison by Nazir with former Sindh home minister Dr Zulfiqar Mirza; he had been in the UK lobbying against MQM.
Nazir had also allegedly organized an address by Mirza at the House of Lords and subsequently gave him a “Valor Award” for anti-MQM stance.
The Cabinet said at the time it would take legal action against him.
Nazir had responded, “Next week, I will have a short debate in the House of Lords and I will let out the designs of power-mongering elites. I will expose the corruption being committed by the holders of the high seats in the country.”
This didn’t appear to deter Nazir’s activities and last week’s statement is just the latest chapter. I expect Nazir to be in the headlines again soon with controversial stances.