MQM founder arrested in connection with 2016 speech: London Police

Elias Hubbard
June 12, 2019

Hussain, who is wanted by Pakistani security forces in multiple cases relating to murder, terrorism, inciting violence, and money laundering, has been shifted to a police station in London.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) founder Altaf Hussain was arrested by Scotland Yard in an early morning raid on Tuesday.

It did not identify the person but said the arrest was "in connection with an investigation into a number of speeches made by an individual associated with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) in Pakistan".

Hussain has lived in self-imposed exile in the United Kingdom for decades, having sought political asylum in 1992 and later taken British citizenship, but he has continued to play a long-distance role in Pakistani politics.

He was arrested at an "address in north-west London. on suspicion of intentionally encouraging or assisting offences contrary to Section 44 of the Serious Crime Act 2007".

According to Geo News, 15 officers took part in a dawn raid at Hussain's north London home. The British police added that throughout the investigation, a police team from the United Kingdom "have been liaising with Pakistani authorities in relation to our ongoing enquiries".

Prime Minister Imran Khan came to power past year vowing to attack rampant political corruption in Pakistan and there have been a string of high profile cases. Pakistan is the epicenter of terrorism for the entire world.

MQM is a democratic political party and has firm faith in the British legal system, the statement read, adding that the coordination committee was in constant consultations with the team of lawyers and in this regard, all legal measures will be taken according to United Kingdom law.

The MQM founder had delivered a fiery speech via telephone to a party gathering outside the Karachi Press Club (KPC) on August 22, 2016 after which party workers chanted anti-Pakistan slogans and then vandalised a media office nearby.

Hussain's reported arrest in London followed other detentions of opposition politicians in Pakistan.

MQM, which dominated Karachi in the 1980s and still enjoys a strong following in Pakistan's largest and wealthiest city, was splintered in two factions in 2016 after a series of anti-Pakistan and anti-military speeches made by Hussain.

Correspondents say Mr Hussain is a maverick politician who has encouraged a personality cult to build up around him.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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