MQM chief in trouble; Pak forces crack down on Hussain's party

MQM chief in trouble; Pak forces crack down on Hussain's party

MQM chief in trouble; Pak forces crack down on Hussain's party

Mutthaida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain's posters were removed from several party offices and streets in Karachi after his anti-Pakistan diatribe, even as more top party leaders distanced themselves from his remarks.

The posters of the self-exiled leader were taken down a day after party leadership in Karachi distanced itself from Hussain's earlier anti-Pakistan comments and decided to strip him of organisational powers for an indefinite period.

In a new audio clip, Hussain while addressing an event in the US via telephone from London said, "If the US and Israel help, I will go myself to fight Daesh (an acronym for Islamic State group), Al-Qaeda, Taliban and the Inter- Services Intelligence and Pakistan Army who created them."

After the new audio surfaced, Hussain's posters were taken down from party strongholds and sector offices and also from streets and bylanes in Karachi in the past 24 hours.

The MQM supremo while addressing "Hindus" allegedly said, "We could not recognize the British conspiracy [to divide the subcontinent] and we became part of it."

While the authenticity of the clip has not been verified yet, but MQM leader Amir Khan told reporters last night that the party had nothing to do with Hussain's statements.

Accompanied by Coordination Committee Deputy Convener Farooq Sattar, Khan said, "Like Farooq Sattar had disassociated the party from Altaf Hussain's earlier speech in our press conference (on Tuesday), we, the Pakistan Rabita Committee, disassociate ourselves from this recent speech."

Hussain, the leader of the single largest party in Karachi, has been accused of raising anti-Pakistan slogans at a protest rally here this week that turned violent. Several journalists were attacked by MQM activists.

Pakistan on Tuesday charged Hussain with treason for his inflammatory speeches.
Meanwhile, Paramilitary Rangers and police continued to crack down on the party that claims to represent Pakistan's Urdu-speaking population.

Senior party leader Asif Hasnain was arrested today from Karachi airport while leaving abroad. A government official said there were several cases pending against him.

Security forces have locked down offices of MQM throughout Karachi, Hyderabad and Nawabshah.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said action would be taken against those speaking against Pakistan.

The crackdown on MQM began two days ago when Hussain made offensive comments about Pakistan. Although Hussain later issued a public apology to army chief Gen Raheel Sharif, Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan today said the government has formally approached British authorities, including the Scotland Yard, with all evidence of the seditious and incendiary speeches of Hussain.

The MQM emerged as a largely ethnic party in the 1980s. It has political dominance in the southern Sindh province's urban areas - notably in Karachi, Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas and Sukkur where a large number of urdu-speaking people reside. 

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox