Altaf Hussain apologises to army chief after anti-Pakistan speech

Published: August 23, 2016
'From the depth of my heart, I beg pardon from my remarks against Pakistan, the establishment, including General Raheel Sharif and DG Rangers,' Altaf said in a statement shared on Twitter by party spokesperson Wasay Jalil. PHOTO: MOHAMMAD NOMAN/EXPRESS

'From the depth of my heart, I beg pardon from my remarks against Pakistan, the establishment, including General Raheel Sharif and DG Rangers,' Altaf said in a statement shared on Twitter by party spokesperson Wasay Jalil. PHOTO: MOHAMMAD NOMAN/EXPRESS

Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain on Tuesday apologised to the military establishment, including Army chief General Raheel Sharif and Sindh Director General (DG) Rangers Maj-Gen Bilal Akber, for his anti-Pakistan speech a day earlier.

“From the depth of my heart, I beg pardon from my remarks against Pakistan, the establishment, including General Raheel Sharif and DG Rangers,” Altaf said in a statement.

Nine Zero sealed after MQM workers attack media house

The MQM supremo claimed he was under severe mental stress over extra-judicial arrests and the condition of his workers sitting at the hunger strike camp set up by his party outside the Karachi Press Club.

“Being a Pakistani, I assure the Pakistani people, establishment, army, ISI, all higher authorities and leaders that I will never use such words again,” the statement read.

Altaf also regretted the violence against media houses that were attacked in the aftermath of his speech and asked for the release of MQM leaders who were later arrested.

“I request the authorities to end actions taken against MQM and do not cut the party from the national mainstream.”

Altaf Hussain incited MQM members to attack media offices: Mustafa Kamal

Activists of the MQM ransacked a private television station before clashing with police Monday evening, leaving at least one person dead and over half a dozen injured. The rioting drew widespread condemnation from all political parties and prompted action by the paramilitary Rangers.

At least nine MQM leaders, including Dr Farooq Sattar, were detained while the party’s headquarters, Nine Zero, were also searched and subsequently sealed.

The violence erupted soon after MQM the chief gave a telephonic address to his supporters in which he castigated the media for not giving due coverage of his workers and allegedly raised anti-Pakistan slogans.

MQM activists, who had just ended a week-long hunger strike outside the Karachi Press Club (KPC) over a government crackdown against them, stormed the ARY News offices after their party leader’s address from London.

Television footage showed dozens of men and women barging into ARY’s office, smashing doors, windows and equipment with rods and batons and setting fire to several vehicles. Footage also showed shards littering the floor and TV screens ripped off the walls and flung on to the ground.

“MQM workers fired at the ARY offices and ransacked the premises,” said SSP Saqib Ismail Memon said, adding that they had been “incited by their leader”. “We have carried out teargas shelling to disperse the mob,” he added.

Staffers of Neo TV station, whose offices are located in the same building as ARY, were also beaten up. Reportedly, protesters also surrounded the offices of Samaa TV which are located on the nearby II Chundrigar Road.

On the streets, MQM activists also clashed with police who tried to stop them, sparking volleys of gunshots and tear gas in several places across the city, police and witnesses said. At least three police officers were beaten up by protesters or were pelted with stones.

Rioters proceeded to set fire to several vehicles, including a police van, and at least two motorcycles. Several other vehicles were also damaged when protesters threw stones at passing cars.

Fourth day: MQM’s hunger strike continues

Around a dozen injured were driven to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre. Medics said Arif Saeed, a 45-year-old man associated with MQM’s Korangi Sector, succumbed to his injuries during treatment.

Others who were brought in for treatment included Saddar DSP Kanwar Asif, Saddar SHO Pir Shabbir, Constable Qamaruz Zaman and Neo TV cameraman Rehan Noor. “The injured did not have any gunshot injuries,” a medic said.

DG Rangers Maj Gen Bilal Akbar, who visited the ARY offices, said nobody would be allowed to disturb law and order in the city. “We will arrest those who incited this violence. Those who took the law into their own hands will be taken to task,” he said while flanked by Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah.

Shah, who later hosted a high-level law and order meeting, said no one would be allowed to raise anti-Pakistan slogans or hold the citizens of Karachi hostage.

Earlier Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, while taking the notice of the situation, called the DG Rangers and asked him to arrest those involved and restore peace in the city.

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Reader Comments (48)

  • Faraz
    Aug 23, 2016 - 11:33AM

    “Alleged” Anti-Pakistan slogans? There are countless videos circulating to document what he did. And now he has apologized too. Would these slogans still be alleged? This kind of reporting is simply sad and shows a lack of concern for facts.Recommend

  • umi
    Aug 23, 2016 - 11:35AM

    WHAT AN ENTERTAINER European countries loves to give such leader pasport who is terrorist and killers. I also hope that Securitary agencies stops kidnapping people but make justics system in pakistan.anyone who breaks the law should be purnished. And should be presented in Courts. But everyone is killing each other in pak.nobody ia thinking about this country. Every time the armforces save d us.Recommend

  • Acorn Guts
    Aug 23, 2016 - 11:37AM

    too lateRecommend

  • Abdul Aleem
    Aug 23, 2016 - 11:50AM

    Authorities should not let it go this time. Its no jokeRecommend

  • Umair
    Aug 23, 2016 - 11:57AM

    100 mice eaten, cat going for Haj.

    Irony is, people will still do, “Bhai Bhai” Yes Quid! :DRecommend

  • Xnain
    Aug 23, 2016 - 12:06PM

    I think this is another world record for U-turns. Match that Khan sahib!Recommend

  • Zep
    Aug 23, 2016 - 12:20PM

    what has been said cannot be unsaid, Altaf Hussain’s message is very clear he is anti pakistani he has always been Anti- He long played the Mahajir card but not anymore after yesterday all the Urdu speaking and Karachittes will not support him- MQM days are OVER.Recommend

  • Waqas
    Aug 23, 2016 - 12:20PM

    The process initiated by rangers must not stop until it’s logical end. These culprits deserve no mercy.Recommend

  • Yasser
    Aug 23, 2016 - 12:33PM

    I am a Karachiite. I love MQM. They are a wonderful bunch of civil, educated middle class people. But I was already convinced 2-3 years ago and am now convinced even more that Minus-one formula is the only way forward. The people of Karachi deserve better. I’d rather have the urbane Ishrat-ul-Ebad or Farooq Sattar speak on my behalf rather than a psychopath who shoots from the hip and all he can do is offer an apology after creating havoc in a city of 20 million.Recommend

  • Fahad
    Aug 23, 2016 - 12:35PM

    I am sorry to say, as a humanist I just saw one life lost due to his either maniac or drunken behaviour and many got injured. He should be charged for hate speech under British law. Recommend

  • Zafar Ahmed
    Aug 23, 2016 - 12:38PM

    What about the hundreds of thousnads of innocent who fled the city of Karachi to save themselves and their children from the MQM killers units. What about the hundreds of thousnads of citizens who quit their businesses and jobs from the fear and threats of MQM extortionists and black mailers. What about thousands of innocent killed by MQM flag holders in the streets of Karachi in the last 30 + years’ attrocities. What about the loss of hundreds of billions of rupees to the people, loss of properties, hiuses and flats grabbed by MQM front men. What about the killing of Baldia workers, 16 May procession’s killings and mass killing market blazzing during Moahrram. What about the loss of education to millions of children due to strikes and shut downs due to only one call by U.K citizen sitting in London. What about the killing of innocent children, women, school and college students killed during last 30 + years. What about the loss of Sind province in terms of financial, physical, joblessness which is estimated to hundreds of billions of rupees.Who will forgive from these innumberable brutalities. May Allah the almighty show the straight path to followers of Mr Altaf and bless them with pure justice at the judgement day. The present matter may be resolved with full involvement of the political elite of the Sind Province.Recommend

  • Ali
    Aug 23, 2016 - 1:18PM

    Ashamed of my educated Urdu speaking friends who support this lunatic and then wonder why people hate MQM!Recommend

  • BrainBro
    Aug 23, 2016 - 1:18PM

    It is a tricky situation. There are still 30 to 40 lakh people in Karachi who would take a bullet for him. They have just shut down their brains to anything negative about Altaf.Recommend

  • Asif
    Aug 23, 2016 - 1:28PM

    Again Joke. He has lost his mental strength. Slogans of Pakistan Murdaabad is not acceptable. And Why apology from Army Chief, why not from the Nation, President & Prime Minister.Recommend

  • Amir
    Aug 23, 2016 - 1:30PM

    Under severe bottle stressRecommend

  • Acorn Guts
    Aug 23, 2016 - 1:34PM

    And not a single word to condemn actions of the MQM workers .. this is the problem with MQM leadership that they consistently fail to see wrong among themselves. Recommend

  • irfan
    Aug 23, 2016 - 1:46PM

    Altaf Hussain contribution for Pakistan ( Especially for Muhajir Political Card ) is nothing . He turned many urdu speaking in to Target Killers and send them India for Training ( Farooq Sattar admitted it on Television and he demanded Forgiveness for these people from state .If similar thing any politicians have admitted in India , he may have been hanged in Public for treason).

    Karachi which was used to be a Business Hub and City of Lights , became City of target Killers and Bhatha Khori Recommend

  • Asad
    Aug 23, 2016 - 1:55PM

    Hangover gone..Recommend

  • London Banker
    Aug 23, 2016 - 2:12PM

    Where is my comment? My comment is “Apology not accepted”.Recommend

  • Syed
    Aug 23, 2016 - 2:14PM

    Must be in happy hour mood
    No mercy this time
    Line crossed Recommend

  • Irfan Khan
    Aug 23, 2016 - 2:27PM

    Is Altaf Bhai even alive, and cogent ?
    Or are the senior MQM leadership using his fake audio and fake video to fool party workers and the world, and prolong their rule ? Recommend

  • Sid
    Aug 23, 2016 - 2:40PM

    Spit, swallow, repeat.Recommend

  • Mohsin
    Aug 23, 2016 - 2:46PM

    Shouldn’t be forgiven this time.Recommend

  • khan
    Aug 23, 2016 - 3:12PM

    1- make him accept his speech was anti pakistan

    2- make him accept he is non pakistani citizen since he gave up the passport

    3- make him accept he directed ppl to attack the offices

    4- ban the party

    5- demolish 90Recommend

  • Ali Rehman
    Aug 23, 2016 - 3:40PM

    Enough is enough MQM, by the way why his apologies for the chief? why not to the nation? the nation lost there loved one’s during the rise of MQM (thousands were killed and there businesses were ruined over the years), the generals are safe with there businesses (150 companies), the nation is on stake…Recommend

  • Raj
    Aug 23, 2016 - 3:57PM

    But why is he apologising to the COAS instead of to Pakistani nation and pakistani peoples. This shows who is the most powerful in Pakistan. It it not PM, Presidnet or not even pakistani citizens and that only COAS is the highest authority in Pakistan. Strange.Recommend

  • Hammad
    Aug 23, 2016 - 3:58PM

    No worries , we will be witnessing more hilarious speeches in future !

    he has only apologized for 23568 time —

    Lastly , feel pity/sorry for the innocent ones , who laid down their lives for his causeRecommend

  • Adnan
    Aug 23, 2016 - 4:11PM

    Altaf Bhai’s speech was anti-Punjab not anti-Pakistan.Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Aug 23, 2016 - 4:25PM

    Bring him back and put him in jail along with Imran and Qadri. They also attacked PTV and Parliament building. Their crime was far more bigger than unstable Londoner. Their arrest will prove that Punjabi Establishment is not racist. Other anarchists like Hasan Nisar and Sheikh Rashid should be with them in jail to entertain both. if crowd had attacked PML(N) office, both would be laughing.Recommend

  • M. Emad
    Aug 23, 2016 - 4:38PM

    3rd biggest political party head apologises to Army Chief; Deputy-head released from paramilitary Rangers custody after arrest and one night detention ! Recommend

  • ajeet
    Aug 23, 2016 - 6:08PM

    Why is he apologizing to Borat? Is Borat working parttime as judge?Recommend

  • ajeet
    Aug 23, 2016 - 6:46PM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:
    Do you think the brits would take South Asia’s north Korea living on Chinese dole seriously?Recommend

  • Dr.M.M.Khan
    Aug 23, 2016 - 7:18PM

    Freedom of Speech yes! Freedom of Speech to incite violence NO. Recommend

  • SNKN
    Aug 23, 2016 - 7:20PM

    At last, Karachi can be set free… From rule of Mafia, thuggery, loot, murder, mayhem and economic loss…. never has a city this size and for that long a time been taken hostage … And that too by its self proclaimed saviours…. And never have such a mass of educated people been hoodwinked for so long….

    This man is utterly heinous, a murderer of thousands of innocent souls, a black mailer of millions….

    May he meet his deserved fate in front of the Almighty…. AmeenRecommend

  • MJ
    Aug 23, 2016 - 10:24PM

    Altaf Hussain has proven himself to be unfit to lead MQM for the past 12 plus years. The more time and opportunity is given to him to speak, the more damage he will inflict to the cause of MQM. Yes he was the leader who brought about MQM but nothing and nobody is more sacred than the concept. He is the poster child for a personality cult, but has now totally lost his marbles, unfit to run a household, let alone a big political party. Recommend

  • ShamelessPakistanis
    Aug 23, 2016 - 11:49PM

    His indian hand is proven. why no treason?Recommend

  • irfan
    Aug 24, 2016 - 1:25AM

    Mr. Altaf Hussain you must have forgiven Dr. Imran when he decided to leave the party . Instead you end his chapter . Recommend

  • hassan khawri
    Aug 24, 2016 - 5:20AM

    The real culprit is Britain and not Altaf Hussain. Britain have kept this fugitive in safe heavens of London and when ever it thinks, they uses Altaf Hussain. So if Britain is real culprit for the unrest in KarachiRecommend

  • Adnan
    Aug 24, 2016 - 5:44AM

    Muhajir will support mqm and non muhajir will not support mqm

    Mujeeb ur rehman made bangladesh he was not ghadar for bangladeshi people.
    So we have to look the root cause to solve problem not to create another bangladesh Recommend

  • Adnan
    Aug 24, 2016 - 5:48AM

    J a altaf, he is a iron man, alone fighting in a racist environment Recommend

  • Adnan
    Aug 24, 2016 - 5:50AM

    Mqm win seats but no power even to clean city wow what a shame, no respect no value mqm should fight for separate province atleast, Recommend

  • Salloo
    Aug 24, 2016 - 6:25AM

    Altaf Bhai speaks from his heart. He knows what’s good for Muslims of Karachi.Recommend

  • Babbarsher Khan
    Aug 24, 2016 - 6:43AM

    Why did he apologize to the Army Chief not to the awam of Pakistan? Is this a sincere apology or a joke?Recommend

  • M.S.
    Aug 24, 2016 - 7:47AM

    Altaf insults whole nation but apologizes army chief. Is he still drunk? Recommend

  • Karachi
    Aug 24, 2016 - 3:40PM

    No mercy for this merciless person.Recommend

  • Riaz Qamar
    Aug 24, 2016 - 9:50PM

    Altar Hussain should be tried by Military court and hanged to ensure rule of law. This is non exuseable crimeRecommend

  • Adnan
    Aug 25, 2016 - 2:44AM

    Karachi should be new country and altaf hussain should be president Recommend

  • Adnan
    Aug 25, 2016 - 2:46AM

    Mustafa kamal is made by army to stop altaf hussain to become Mujeeb ur rehmanRecommend

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