Army to take action as politicians slam Harry for ‘Paki’ remark (Lead)

January 12th, 2009 - 5:05 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Jan 12 (IANS) Prince Harry faces a stern army dressing drown as political criticism grew Monday after the young British Royal filmed himself calling an Asian fellow-cadet ‘Paki’.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 decorated Pakistani soldier Ahmed Raza 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 Col. 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.

A source told the paper: “The worst that could then happen would be that he would get a letter of displeasure from the Army which would go on his record and might slightly affect future promotion prospects. If he had made the remarks last week, or addressed them to a private soldier, that would be a much more serious matter.”

“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.

Universities and Skills Minister John Denham said: “This sort of language can be seen as offensive, is offensive, is gradually going out of use in our society, and he’s apologised for it.”

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.

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said the prince’s words would cause “considerable offence”.

Asked if he would sack a member of his own front bench team who used phrases like that uttered by the prince, 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.”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in World |

Subscribe