Conflict & Justice

Lord Nazir Ahmed suspended by Britain's Labour for offering Obama, Bush bounty


Lord Ahmed talks with Baroness Warsi on arrival from Sudan at London Heathrow Airport in December, 2007.


Peter Macdiarmid

Britain’s Labour Party said today it had suspended Lord Nazir Ahmed, a peer of the Realm, for putting out a $16 million bounty on President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush, according to the Agence France-Presse news agency.

Pakistan’s Express Tribune reported yesterday that during a visit to Pakistan in Friday, Lord Ahmed had offered the bounty as response to the recently announced US $10 million reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspected terrorist Hafiz Saeed.

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Lord Ahmed is originally from Pakistani Kashmir, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute, a pro-Israeli research center in Washington.

“We have suspended Lord Ahmed pending investigation,” a Labour spokeswoman was quoted as saying by AFP. “If these comments are accurate we utterly condemn these remarks which are totally unacceptable.”

“The international community is rightly doing all in its power to seek justice for the victims of the Mumbai bombings and halt terrorism.”

Saeed is wanted for his alleged role in the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, which left 166 people dead and which are widely blamed on the militant organization he founded, Lashkar-e-Taiba.

According to The Express Tribune, Lord Ahmed was addressing a reception held in his honor by business leaders in Haripur and made the offer as an expression of solidarity with Saeed.

“If the US can announce a reward of $10 million for the captor of Hafiz Saeed, I can announce a bounty of 10 million pounds on President Obama and his predecessor George Bush,” he was quoted as saying by The Tribune.

Lord Ahmed was also quoted as saying that he would back the bounty at any cost, even if this meant selling his all assets, even his house.

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According to AFP, however, Lord Ahmed denied having offered a bounty today.

“I did not offer a bounty. I said that there have been war crimes committed in Iraq and Afghanistan and those people who have got strong allegations against them – George W Bush and Tony Blair have been involved in illegal wars and should be brought to justice,” he was quoted as saying.