Connect with us

South Asia

MQM Leader – Altaf Hussain – One of Pakistans’ Most Wanted, Arrested in London

Published

on

MQM founder Altaf Hussain — who went into exile in the early 1990s from Pakistan— was arrested in London. “A man has been arrested in connection with an investigation into a number of speeches made by an individual associated with the MQM in Pakistan,” read a statement by London’s Metropolitan Police, which did not name Altaf Hussain.

“The man, who is aged in his 60s, was arrested at an address in north-west London. He was arrested on suspicion of intentionally encouraging or assisting offences contrary to Section 44 of the Serious Crime Act 2007.”


Section 44 ‘Intentionally encouraging or assisting an offence’:

(1) A person commits an offence if — – (a) he does an act capable of encouraging or assisting the commission of an offence; and – (b) he intends to encourage or assist its commission.

(2) But he is not to be taken to have intended to encourage or assist the commission of an offence merely because such encouragement or assistance was a foreseeable consequence of his act.


“He was detained under PACE [Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984] and taken to a south London police station, where he currently remains in police custody,” added the statement.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain. — Photo courtesy mqm.org

The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 codes of practice regulate police powers and protect public rights. “As part of the investigation, officers are carrying out a search at the north-west London address. Detectives are also searching a separate commercial address in north-west London.

“The investigation, which is being led by officers from the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, is focused on a speech broadcast in August 2016 by an individual associated with the MQM movement in Pakistan as well as other speeches previously broadcast by the same person,” said the statement.

“Throughout the investigation, officers have been liaising with Pakistani authorities in relation to our ongoing enquiries.”

Following the MQM-London chief’s arrest, Karachi city police chief Dr Amir Ahmed Shaikh issued directions to all SSPs and DIGs for patrolling and vigilance with anti-riot squads and equipment in Karachi.

Over 20 identical FIRs pertaining to ‘hate speech’ were registered against Altaf Hussain and several other leaders and workers of the MQM’s London and Pakistan factions. The London Met Police which began investigating Hussain’s 2016 speech visited Islamabad in April this year to collect evidence and interview key witnesses.

Hate Speech by Altaf Hussain

The arrest is in relation to an incendiary speech made by Hussain on August 22, 2016. Hours after Hussain delivered the incendiary speech, MQM workers had attacked the ARY News office in Karachi. Shortly after, the Rangers had detained a handful of senior MQM leaders overnight.

In the days that followed, the Karachi wing of the party led by Farooq Sattar distanced itself from Hussain and the London wing.

Parts of Hussain’s speech that went viral on social media minutes after the violence broke out in Karachi showed that while addressing the MQM workers protesting outside the Karachi Press Club against “enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings of workers”, the MQM supremo had not only raised slogans against Pakistan but also called the country “a cancer for entire world”.

“Pakistan is cancer for the entire world,” he had said. “Pakistan is a headache for the entire world. Pakistan is the epicentre of terrorism for the entire world. Who says long live Pakistan…it’s down with Pakistan.”

The minister for the interior at the time had sought assistance from British authorities, and asked them to take action against Hussain for “inciting people of Pakistan to violence”. On August 23, Hussain apologised to the then army chief, Gen Raheel Sharif, and the Rangers director general for his vitriolic speech.

“From the depth of heart, I beg pardon from my remarks against Pakistan, the establishment including Gen Raheel Sharif and DG Rangers,” he said in a statement shared on Twitter by MQM spokesperson Wasay Jalil. “I was under severe mental stress over extra-judicial arrests and precarious condition of my workers sitting at the hunger strike camp.”

Altaf Hussain in Exile

Hussain was born on September 17, 1953, in Karachi. He obtained his early education at a public school in Karachi’s Azizabad neighbourhood, a middle-class locality in Karachi where the MQM chief spent his early years and his youth. He later enrolled at the University of Karachi to study Pharmacy and graduated from the program in 1979.

Previously known as the Mohajir Qaumi Movement, Hussain’s party started off as a political group with the aim of representing the Urdu-speaking community which had migrated to Pakistan due to Partition.

His political career began during his student years in KU when he and Azeem Ahmed Tariq founded the All-Pakistan Mohajir Students Organisation (APMSO). Formed in 1978, APMSO gained a massive following within a short period of time. Under Hussain’s leadership, MQM swept the 1988 election in Sindh’s urban areas, emerging as the third largest party.

In the early 1990s, the MQM chief went into exile as the government at the time conducted an operation in Karachi. The MQM under Hussain was accused of using violent tactics to attain and retain political power. On the contrary, Hussain maintained that the state and other political parties have targeted MQM and its workers ever since its formation.

Viewed as the man who controlled Karachi from London, Hussain came under fire in May 2013 for his televised speech across Pakistan where he allegedly demanded the separation of Karachi from the rest of Pakistan if the public mandate of his party was not acceptable to the ‘establishment’. The party later clarified saying it was taken out of context.

Originally Published in Dawn

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

FEATURED

S400-VS-F35 S400-VS-F35
Americas10 hours ago

Is The UAE Threatening To Opt For Russian Su-57 Jets Over US’ Stealth F-35 Warplanes??

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has warned that if the US refuses to supply it with F-35 and MQ-9 Reaper...

india-russia india-russia
Featured11 hours ago

Indian, Russian Navy Hold PASSEX Exercise In The Eastern Indian Ocean Region

On the occasion of Navy Day, the Indian Navy is conducting a passage exercise (PASSEX) with the Russian Navy in...

Pakistan-Turkey-Relations Pakistan-Turkey-Relations
Featured13 hours ago

After Backing Pakistan on Kashmir, Is Turkey’s Erdogan Hiring Syrian Mercenaries To Fight In The Valley?

For some time now, Turkey has been making attempts to grow its influence among the Muslims in South Asia in...

iran-israel iran-israel
Featured14 hours ago

Assassination Of Top Iranian Scientist Will Complicate Relations Between The US & Iran: Joe Biden

Joe Biden, the next President of the United States said the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh is likely...

BRAHMOS BRAHMOS
Asia Pacific16 hours ago

From Rafales, Su-30 MKIs & Tejas, Why Next-Gen BrahMos Missile Can Be A Game-Changer For The Indian Air Force?

Amid the border row with China, the Indian armed forces successfully test-fired the BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles in the past...

India-Pak-War-1971 India-Pak-War-1971
Asia Pacific17 hours ago

What Did Indira Gandhi Tell Naval Chief Before Indian Navy Bombed Karachi Port In 1971 War?

India marks 4 December as Navy Day to commemorate the Indian Navy’s attack on the Karachi port during the 1971...

Asia Pacific19 hours ago

Indian Navy To Counter Chinese Swarm Drones With New Guns That Can ‘Smash’ UAVs

Countries across the globe are looking for innovative ideas to check the menace of small drones or small unmanned aerial...

TYPHOONS TYPHOONS
Featured19 hours ago

Eurofighter Typhoons ‘Soar & Roar’ In Qatar As Royal Air Force Conducts Drills With Emiri Air Force

The British Royal Air Force and Qatar Emiri Air Force, for the first time in history, have come together for...

imran-khan imran-khan
Asia Pacific20 hours ago

Not India, Former ISI Chief Hints At UAE, Saudi Arabia Being The Biggest Threat To Pakistan

Durrani said that Pakistan is not threatened by India but is mired with its internal problems, including political instability and...

ERDOGAN-TURKEY ERDOGAN-TURKEY
EurAsian Region22 hours ago

Russia, Pakistan To Be First Buyers Of Turkey’s Mobile Anti-Drone System That Can Smell UAVs From 5000 Meters

As Turkey is gradually emerging as a drone superpower, its key allies Russia and Pakistan have shown tremendous interest in...

Advertisement
Advertisement