Rumour mill: Britain scotches reports of Altaf Hussain’s arrest

Published: August 29, 2011

Hussain had been seeking treatment at a local hospital.

ISLAMABAD: 

The British government denied on Monday reports suggesting Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain’s purported detention by British authorities, while an MQM statement said Hussain was hospitalised in London.

“There is no truth in such reports,” British High Commissioner Adam Thomson told reporters at a ceremony for Pakistani Paralympics athletes in Islamabad.

He was reacting to speculations that the MQM leader had been caught trying to leave for South Africa at London’s Heathrow Airport. Reports also quoted Altaf Hussain as having told British authorities that “he was going to South Africa for security reasons”.

These claims coincided with a spate of allegations against the MQM levelled by former senior minister Zulfiqar Mirza who accused the party of being behind the ongoing bloodshed in Karachi.

(Read: Who will rescue Karachi?)

Mirza alleged that the MQM was working “on an American agenda to disintegrate Pakistan”.

He also claimed that in 2001, Altaf Hussain had written up a letter to then Britain’s prime minister Tony Blair against the Inter-Services Intelligence.

(Read: Hurricane Mirza shakes up political landscape)

The British diplomat, however, said he did not know anything about the purported letter, adding that Blair was more qualified to answer questions in this regard.

The MQM and Interior Minister Rehman Malik have already denied reports of Altaf Hussain’s arrest.

Members of MQM’s coordination committee also appealed the people to remain calm and not respond to rumours. The committee thanked President Asif Ali Zardari, Interior Minister Rehman Malik and other people for expressing concern for Hussain’s health.

According to an MQM statement, Hussain became sick a week ago but “is now recovering”.

(With additional reporting by our correspondent in Karachi)

Published in The Express Tribune, August 30th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (34)

  • Aug 29, 2011 - 8:06PM

    It seems God is with MQM. Just now UK high commission has rejected ZM’s claims about Altaf’s letter to Blair and his arrest propaganda.

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  • Aadersh
    Aug 29, 2011 - 8:55PM

    @Tanzeel He has not rejected the claim…He has said he is unaware of the fact that Altaf wrote any letter to Blair…Stop being a defender…Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Aug 29, 2011 - 8:58PM

    Do we seriously need to believe the UK high commission?
    Maybe they are involved in Karachi killing affairs too

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  • amir bajwa
    Aug 29, 2011 - 9:24PM

    if the iltaf hussain is not involved in any kind of activity as said by the ex minister then he must come before the nation with holding Holy Book and say no to all allegaions levelved against him

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  • Born Again Pakistani
    Aug 29, 2011 - 9:47PM

    @Aadersh:
    and you think they wouldnt know…

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  • Born Again Pakistani
    Aug 29, 2011 - 9:48PM

    @Ahmed:
    All for UK’s involvement. they planned the creation of this country they better fix the mess also.

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  • Aug 29, 2011 - 10:04PM

    @all people lie on Quran so grow up
    well altaf couldn’t have been sick at a better time i guess
    His lovers will now help him through this difficult time , i guess zulfiqar mirza antics go to waste

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  • Faiz
    Aug 29, 2011 - 10:05PM

    @Tanzeel: You actually think they will accept, if they did, that they received such letter? Common. World politics is no different than our local politics.

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  • Faiz
    Aug 29, 2011 - 10:09PM

    @amir bajwa: Even though we respect our Holy Book so dearly do not forget all these politicians, ministers, Presidents and Prime Ministers took oath over Quran that they will serve the country with honesty? Did they? No…..so even if someone comes up with this kind of act we should simply back-off and leave it to Allah and him. It’s not a joke and no political tool to use whenever wished.

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  • Grace
    Aug 29, 2011 - 10:42PM

    @Tanzeel: I don’t know if God has time to worry about petty politicians. As for Zulfiqar Mirza, most people want to see his allegations proven in a court case so the Pakistani government should follow up and ask for Altaf Hussain to be extradited to Pakistan.

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  • Adeel759
    Aug 29, 2011 - 11:00PM

    He is not sick or anything, MQM needs time for brain storming, to effectively answer these very seriouse allegations that’s why these days you rarely see them on media whereas, politicians from all other parties have been frequently on talk shows since the brooming of this operation, but not MQM.Recommend

  • rana
    Aug 29, 2011 - 11:04PM

    @Ahmed:
    surely they are

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  • hassaan khan
    Aug 30, 2011 - 12:09AM

    UK is actively involved in protecting perpetrators of genocide in Pakistan. they need criminals to promote their own agenda.
    A british citizen is involved in killings in Karachi. it is now up to British people to demand explanation for protecting him by govt of UK.Recommend

  • Ali
    Aug 30, 2011 - 12:17AM

    How can so many nice educated people believe in Altaf Hussain.. seriously guys.. Get on with your lives. When he’s gone you won’t have anyone to sing you songs or look up to. NOBODY can tell me who will run the MQM after Altaf – who, btw, is SO paranoid these days that he’s writing to every foreign dignitary in the world to get some sort of backing and protection. Well played, AZ.

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  • Noman
    Aug 30, 2011 - 2:00AM

    lol.. Altaf bhai couldn’t survive the bombshell… need time to recover ;)

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  • Maulana Diesel
    Aug 30, 2011 - 2:25AM

    He is recovering from what? jet lag? heard he wanted to “recover” in the nice and clean air of south africa.

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  • Aug 30, 2011 - 2:33AM

    May Allah bless you with health. Ameen!

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  • GetRidOfFeudalPolitics
    Aug 30, 2011 - 6:09AM

    Everybody please pray. May he leave us in peace.

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  • Hasan
    Aug 30, 2011 - 7:22AM

    People please don’t forget that it was MQM from 2001 until 2008 which has Developed Karachi and Hyderabad which in turn was beneficial for Pakistan. If MQM was so much against Pakistan and different ethnicity they would have flushed them out when they were in power from 2001 until 2008. I live in Karachi and I know who is bad and who is not this guys roams around in Karachi with 20 security guards and thrashes anyone he wanted, so does his son. He has not done anything for the constituency he was elected from people are still working on his fields like slaves. PLEASE MY PAKISTANI PEOPLE WAKE UP AND SEE WHO IS RIGHT AND WHO IS WRONG. People like him has accused MQM of this in the past too but it all turned out to be fake, but it had cost us around 20,000 innocent lives. Please wake up before its too late, because we wont tolerate another genocide on Urdu speaking people just because they want to challenge the feudal system of this country. This whole drama was only because of operation against liyari gangsters. Don’t be so naive and start make him your hero just because he is saying things against MQM in a emotional way and just because you are against MQM. and please dont forget that majority of the people died in Karachi violence was either MQM supporters or workers. Ask yourself who killed them? Karachi belong toe everyone but please respect the mandate of people of Karachi.

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  • Aug 30, 2011 - 8:22AM

    All these bad and immoral doing and undoing of things by the self-styled politicians is a part game of exploitation under the status quo attempts and black deals by hidden hands as well as open enemies called in political terms of ‘ haves’ and ‘haves not’ in society.With such sort of crime-like-things, openly indulged in by people occupying seats of power and authority, we and our beloved motherland,Pakistan, cannot become a place of decent worth-living life, unless the centuries-old de-humanising, brutal jagirdari nizam is abolished and a more human, humane, a humanity-based, welfare sort of state system is replaced as it prevails in many countries like Canada, UK and other……

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  • Hairaan
    Aug 30, 2011 - 8:31AM

    @hassaan khan:
    You are right. Your comment reminded me of Mir Jaffer and Mir Sadiq.

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  • Karachi Citizen
    Aug 30, 2011 - 9:11AM

    Zulfiqar Mirza sahabs allegations worked , MQM leader had no more words left do defend himself that’s why he is escaping from media and gone underground in London………Mr.Altaf we are dieing to hear your telephonic speech….come on face the people.

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  • AdNaN
    Aug 30, 2011 - 9:15AM

    @Hasan:
    Well Z.mirza’s allegations do make a bit sense and might be right. As u just stated that MQM developed karachi, Hyderabad from 01-08 but if u just think 4 a minute and believe Z.mirza’s theory he is right as they are using federal money to build karachi and hyderabad and then when these 2 become very highly developed with underground trains and stuff they would separate it from pakistan and this way the new would be capable to generate alot of money … AND I PERSONALY THINK THAT YES MQM ARE PLOTING THE THINGS Z.MIRZA SAID

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  • Hairaan
    Aug 30, 2011 - 9:18AM

    @Hasan:
    please dont forget that majority of the people died in Karachi violence was either MQM supporters or workers
    Accepted. Who killed the others?
    Which feudal system you believe MQM is challenging? The fact, whether you like it or not, is that MQM has always supported feudal system by making coalitions since its inception be it with PML-Q or PPP? This slogan is for the consumption of the so called literate middle class only. There is no substance in it. Has MQM ever made any attempt to kill the much talked feudal system by bringing any legislation in the provincial and national assemblies?. The truth is how could it do the same while sitting on the treasury benches with the feudal lords. The challenge you are talking about is only limited to the telephonic addresses from UK.

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  • Intelektual
    Aug 30, 2011 - 9:21AM

    @Ali:
    Seriously Y should these educated ppl not believe in him !! Coz ZM says so wh0se only credibility is sensationalism !!
    MQM takes Bhatta grow up and look around !!
    Our police, Traffic police, Civil machinery, Drug Mafia, Land mafia, Gangs (Multiple) of Liyari (The Worst extortionists), the feudal lords claiming slave labor or cash…

    None of these are MQM

    Now Afghan world acclaimed Smuggling routes through Khayber pukhtoon a khuwa.
    Where from all the illegal drugs and arms are coming ??
    youtube it and look into the cottage illegal arms industry in the same ANP led area.

    They are not MQM !!!

    True colors of any political party are shown when they are in power !!!
    look at Karachi at the time of MQM and look at it now !!

    logical and reasonable ppl do not lend ears to sensationalism but to the voice of reason and facts which speak for themselves

    I am reasonable but do u have any reason y should ppl nt believe in MQM really !!Recommend

  • Realist.
    Aug 30, 2011 - 9:25AM

    Mannnnn This is Hilarious :D
    MQMers are speechless :D No answers :D No reactions :D
    COAWRDS :D
    Mirza Literally PWNED MQM.
    They don’t have any answers to whatever he said.
    Kudos to Mirza for Hitting the nail right on the head!!Recommend

  • Naveed
    Aug 30, 2011 - 9:31AM

    @Hasan….mmm we are so very sorry but we dont have the traditions of respecting mandates…..remember general elections before Dhaka fall….and if the mandate is not really of our liking …we engineer one. so in the due course of time you feel your mandate is not really receiving the respect it otherwise should…..go for another independent country. we are already falling apart.

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  • menteliscio
    Aug 30, 2011 - 10:12AM

    the sad part is we still fall for british gimicks.

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  • Siddh
    Aug 30, 2011 - 10:31AM

    HC said he is not detained but didnt say if he is allowed to leave UK or not ;) Point to ponder isnt it???

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  • M Adnan Khan
    Aug 30, 2011 - 10:32AM

    May Allah bless you with health. Ameen!

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  • Nauman Ali Azmat
    Aug 30, 2011 - 3:19PM

    AH will be back by the popular demand and the life long habit of setting life of his rivals would continue. Stay tuned for next couple of decades. He has sowed the seeds, dun matter he lives or not. MQM is here is to stay and so does his legacy to haunt Pakistan for years and years ..coz the solutions presented since East Pakistan demise have been band aids.Recommend

  • salim
    Aug 30, 2011 - 3:57PM

    On a program last evening. ZM came up with a preposterous explantion that Altah Hussein was arrested from Heathrow Airport on his way to South Africa!!! He’s (ZM) in a trance these days especially after the operation in Lyari where 2 torture cells were found and a number of mutilated bodies!

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  • Javad
    Aug 30, 2011 - 4:05PM

    Karachiites tends to forget the brilliant Nazim Naimatullah Khan(JI) for his contribution to the development of Karachi. He was Nazim from 2001-2005. He inspired the MQM. Though they will never admit it….

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  • Danish Ahmed
    Aug 30, 2011 - 4:15PM

    MQM will answer more effectively and more than the expectation of ZM and people of Pakistan. Wait and see….more they lengthen the duration to answer against allegation…bigger the set back to ZM.Recommend

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