Prince Harry’s ‘Paki’ comment unacceptable: Gordon Brown (Second Lead)

January 12th, 2009 - 7:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Gordon BrownLondon, Jan 12 (IANS) British Prime Minister Gordon Brown Monday condemned Prince Harry’s use of racist language as “unacceptable” but said the apologetic young royal now deserves the nation’s “benefit of the doubt.”Nevertheless, the 24-year-old prince who was filmed calling decorated Pakistani fellow-cadet Ahmed Raza Khan a “Paki” three years ago, was set to face a probe by the British army.

Brown, speaking after widespread criticism of the prince from leading British politicians, said he believed Harry’s apology was genuine.

“I think Prince Harry knows that these comments are unacceptable and I think he has made an apology… These comments have no part in our life and I think he is meeting his commanding officer quite soon to talk about them,” the British premier said.

“I think the sincerity of his apology cannot be doubted. It was a mistake, he has made the admission of that and, once he has made his apology, I think the British people are good enough to give someone who has actually been a role model for young people and has done well fighting for our country, gone into very difficult situations with bravery, I think they will give him the benefit of the doubt,” he added.

The defence ministry indicated that the Prince, who is third in line to the British throne, could face disciplinary action though the inquiry will not be a formal one as no complaint has been filed over the comments that were made three years ago.

“The army does not tolerate inappropriate behaviour in any shape or form,” an army spokesman said.

“The army takes all allegations of inappropriate behaviour very seriously and all substantive allegations are investigated. This specific case will be dealt with in line with normal army procedures.”

Harry has already apologised for calling Khan a ‘Paki’ and another comrade ‘raghead’ - a derogatory term for Arabs - while filming fellow-cadets of his Sandhurst military school.

Harry, 24, is likely to be summoned by Lt. Col. Harry Fullerton, Commanding Officer of his Household Cavalry Regiment at Combermere Barracks in Windsor for a dressing down that is known as ‘interview without coffee,’ the Sun reported.

“Harry will be hauled before the top brass over this, just as any other young officer would. His Commanding Officer will certainly give him a stern telling off. But as there has been no formal complaint, it will probably not go any further than that,” the Mirror quoted an unnamed insider as saying.

Meanwhile, leading British politicians from all parties described Harry’s remarks as irresponsible and unacceptable in modern Britain.

Opposition Conservative party leader David Cameron called Harry’s use of the racist term “completely unacceptable” and urged the army to “root out” such attitudes.

Asked if he would sack a member of his own frontbench team who used phrases like that uttered by the prince, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg replied: “Almost certainly I would have to. Yes.”

Keith Vaz, Britain’s longest-serving MP of South Asian origin, said: “I can’t think of any circumstances in the House of Commons where I or anyone else has been called a Paki. This word is unacceptable, wounding and ought to be - as it has been - widely condemned.”

Related Stories

    Posted in Uncategorized |

    Subscribe