MQM trashes BBC programme, considers lawsuit

Published: July 12, 2013
The party’s leaders lashed out at the BBC Two report on Thursday, calling it propaganda and part of a defamation campaign. PHOTO: MQM

The party’s leaders lashed out at the BBC Two report on Thursday, calling it propaganda and part of a defamation campaign. PHOTO: MQM

KARACHI: Key leaders of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) on Thursday heaped scorn at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) for running a vilification campaign against its London-based chief Altaf Hussain and raising questions about their party’s alleged involvement in money laundering.

The party’s leaders lashed out at the BBC Two report on Thursday, calling it propaganda and part of a defamation campaign.

MQM deputy convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui at a press conference said such programmes strengthen the bond between their leader and party workers. He said that they reserve the right to protest peacefully, and would do against such programmes. “We have full confidence in our chief. His statements were taken out of context.”

BBC Two, in its investigative report on the MQM during its programme Newsnight, had raised several questions about allegations of money-laundering, murder of Dr Imran Farooq, incitement of violence through hate speech, and the MQM’s overall image of violence. Host Jeremy Paxman termed the party one of the most feared parties in the country.

Federal lawmaker Ali Raza Abidi while talking to The Express Tribune said the report was biased and ignored the targeting of MQM by the Taliban. “MQM is the only remaining sane voice against terrorism, but sadly the BBC did not highlight that.”

MQM’s Rabita Committee member Wasay Jalil, who is currently in London, said on Twitter that the report was aimed to tarnish the image of their leader, and the propaganda was not new.

Meanwhile, speaking on condition of anonymity, a MQM member stated that the party was considering filing a defamation suit against the BBC.

In the programme, Paxman put up a series of questions including if Britain was providing sanctuary to an organisation which threatens and persecutes others? Will Britain put Altaf Hussain on trial? And why does the government keep doors open for the MQM?

In the report, Owen Bennett Jones, showed Altaf’s house where the Scotland Yard conducted a raid in June and according to the BBC seized hundreds of thousands of pounds. The programme also carried interviews of eyewitnesses and reported on threatening speeches by Altaf Hussain, including the one in which he threatened the UK government against hatching conspiracies against the party.

After the report, Paxman grilled MQM leader Farooq Sattar live, asking him how much money was seized, what it was for and where it come from.

Responding to the scathing criticism, Sattar said that the matter was “under investigation” and should not be made subject of media trial.

“BBC is a very reputable organisation. But after seeing the report, it seems that there has been an influence of pro-Taliban and radical forces,” blurted out a visibly disturbed Sattar.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police confirmed to The Express Tribune on Thursday that the incitement probe was under way. “Investigations started in May when we received a series of complaints,” he said; referring to the Pakistan Tehreek-e Insaf (PTI) activists who complained to Scotland Yard against Altaf, when during one of his speeches he threatened them by alluding to the three swords of Clifton.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 12th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (81)

  • Lyari
    Jul 12, 2013 - 2:23AM

    Supporters of MQM are in Self-denial….No doctor can cure this symptom!


  • Aysha M
    Jul 12, 2013 - 2:24AM

    Excellent, defamation suit against BBC, they will come down to their knees for outside court settlement


  • asim
    Jul 12, 2013 - 2:28AM

    Look at their eyes all looking down.


  • Nadir
    Jul 12, 2013 - 2:30AM

    If Altaf Hussain finds the BBC conspiring against him, why doesnt he take them to court?

    If the UK is not treating him respectfully, he can return to Pakistan?


  • just_someone
    Jul 12, 2013 - 2:31AM

    Keep your voices up! Write to newsnight and BBC and let them know you support their courageous and factual reporting.
    Also, write to the British Embassy asking them to ensure an impartial investigation. If you are in British, write to your MP and ask them to ensure that the Government does not hinder the NSY in their investigation!


  • Mir
    Jul 12, 2013 - 4:00AM

    BBC only interested in UK Citizen. They have no interest in Pakistani politics. It is not a Pakistani channel, wake up


  • Oxonian
    Jul 12, 2013 - 4:10AM

    Lawsuit or not, all that can be said is: ” ab tou ho gya ”. Best of luck to Altaf Bhai.


  • SHB
    Jul 12, 2013 - 4:29AM

    £400,000 or $600000. From where he got this money?
    What is the answer by Mr Altaf?


  • Waziristani
    Jul 12, 2013 - 4:33AM

    I hope Altaf Babi chapter is closing.


  • Aysha M
    Jul 12, 2013 - 4:44AM

    Law suit is the best response. BBC would request for out of court settlement


  • Agra
    Jul 12, 2013 - 4:56AM

    MQM can control London Even


  • Syed Hasib Ur Rehman
    Jul 12, 2013 - 5:15AM

    Yes take them to court or sue them, This is the treatment they should get if they dont follow the rules. Regardless of BBC , CNN SKY whoever spreads fake or biased reporting we will take them to court and its not new for us, Pakistani Establishment has done this with us in 1992 so its nothing new for us, LONG LIVE ALTAF BHAI


  • Ashkenazi
    Jul 12, 2013 - 5:24AM

    They were sharing BBC documentary against Nawaz money laundering now BBC became trash.


  • Adil Haider
    Jul 12, 2013 - 5:36AM

    Altaf Bhai’s days seem to be numbered……


  • Karachi Boy
    Jul 12, 2013 - 5:58AM

    We had elections on May 11 in Karachi and Lahore. PTI votes were casted in both cities, and the party lost in both cities. Difference was no one was able to show off their party support by wearing jersey or even wrist band in Karachi because of the fear of MQM and such was not the case in Lahore!


  • Jul 12, 2013 - 6:20AM

    The nightmare won’t end for Pakistanis just because Altaf Hussain goes to jail. If the man can rule from the other end of the planet he can easily rule from behind bars. The cult of Altaf Hussain will live on.


  • NO Name
    Jul 12, 2013 - 6:25AM

    I think as a human everybody is loveable so is AH but
    as a criminal every crime should end on punish to transmit Justice down the line for innocent people. No matter who so he or she is . Justice should prevails


  • The Paki!
    Jul 12, 2013 - 6:28AM

    BBC has an influence of Taliban. I think Farooq Sattar just stopped short saying that CNN is owned by TTP and Fox news by Al-Qaeda. And together all of the stakes were owned by Osama Bin Laden, which after his death were taken over by Zawahiri.

    This is a fact! NOT a conspiracy theory!!


  • Kolsat
    Jul 12, 2013 - 6:56AM

    @Nadir: A good question. He lives in UK because he feels safer there than in Pakistan. BBC does not go maligning people without a strong proof. Let MQM sue them and see what happens.


  • Salman
    Jul 12, 2013 - 7:12AM

    BBC is not Geo or samaa TV. You can’t use same idiotic exuses or threats to world’s most respected broadcaster. Besides Altaf has no credentials to even get hired as janitor at BBC and BBC has nothing to gain by exposing this criminal


  • Akram
    Jul 12, 2013 - 7:19AM

    Drama is about to end. Can’t wait to see demise of cruelty


  • Akram
    Jul 12, 2013 - 7:27AM

    Who are you trying to fool. There is no case against bbc. Hats off to bbc team.


  • Akram
    Jul 12, 2013 - 7:28AM

    ET keet up good work you are doing good job in exposing truth.


  • Akram
    Jul 12, 2013 - 7:33AM

    @Aysha M:
    Really? I will wait for that historic moment. No harm in day dreaming. When is suit being foled? Please keep us in the loop.

    By the way have you seen documentary?


  • Aslam
    Jul 12, 2013 - 7:35AM

    @Aysha M:
    Dream on….


  • Aslam
    Jul 12, 2013 - 7:37AM

    @Aysha M:
    Will you be representing MQM in court?
    Pleasee watch documentry before making claims against bbc.


  • Wasim
    Jul 12, 2013 - 7:42AM

    Where is Altaf Bahi, why is he not addressing “nation” now. I think he will read his speech twice now before addressing live on tv


  • Abrar R
    Jul 12, 2013 - 7:43AM

    Where is RazaHaroon, Babar ghoti, Haider Abbas, Sabzwari .. having this low tier ‘leadership’ give this press conference is in itself an admission of hypocricy. Write it some where, there will be no lawsuit on BBC. This is why they have uncredible type ‘leadership’ who no one knows dish this news out. :)


  • Wasim
    Jul 12, 2013 - 7:44AM

    MQM will cease to exist soon because they can not live without government


  • Aamir - Toronto
    Jul 12, 2013 - 7:56AM

    @Aysha M

    After reading your comments, I firmly believe that you are suffering from denial symptom.


  • Mak
    Jul 12, 2013 - 8:24AM

    BBC trashed their beloved leader based on facts, now they plan to trash BBC based on wild conspiracy theories. Lol.


  • Faisal
    Jul 12, 2013 - 8:36AM

    If you are in Karachi, start making a list of all PTI workers and supporters, the day of retribution is coming……Let’s see who laughs last !


  • Minhas
    Jul 12, 2013 - 8:38AM

    Looks like PTI’s days are numbered in Sindh. Bad mistake by Imran Khan and his trolls, as they will now become a major target.


  • Sadia
    Jul 12, 2013 - 8:40AM

    I am not an MQM supporter, but I do not understand why PTI trolls are getting so happy over this? Do they not realize who the MQM will unleash their wrath on if anything happens to Altaf Hussain? PTI is playing with major fire, which may engulf their entire party setup in Karachi and Hyderabad. I only pray that the MQM leadership keeps a cool lid on it’s activists, or else I see major bloodshed in urban Sindh.


  • Navaid
    Jul 12, 2013 - 8:41AM

    @Adil Haider:
    Possible, but I also see Pakistan’s days being numbered as well.


  • Aysha M
    Jul 12, 2013 - 8:55AM

    BBC has reviewed the book entitled MQM after reading it from chapter 9
    If a book review is presented, does one start reading and reporting from chapter 9.
    An in-depth, comprehensive and incisive analysis and review demands a complete picture which can only be produced after having read from preface to the last sentence. Very disappointing show at a channel which is known for its meaningful and objective reporting and analysis. BBC can rectify this oversight by presenting another show which talks of the reason of the inception of MQM,the trajectory of its growth and development as a political force of the lower middle class people, the persecution it faced in the 90s, the sacrifices and contribution of its leadership at all levels, the impact it had in the development of infrastructure in Karachi and more importantly for creating sectarian harmony in strife torn city of Karachi.


  • Aysha M
    Jul 12, 2013 - 9:09AM

    @Aamir – Toronto:
    not denial, I am able to see through things which are blown out of proportion


  • ModiFied
    Jul 12, 2013 - 9:12AM

    History is repeating once again. Britain is playing some sinister game in Pakistan. Blame ofcourse goes once again to Pakistani leaders who consider Britain as their second home. It was Britain who was responsible for uprooting the Muhajirs from India. May be Britain and west wants to use Muhajirs as tool for something big and this is why using pressure tactics to make them fall in line. Too early to say, but something is cooking.


  • Pakistani
    Jul 12, 2013 - 9:19AM

    I am sure they wont consider a lawsuit because the program was based on following facts

    Hate speech
    Imran Farooq murder investigation (Raids carried out on Mqm offices & Altaf’s home)
    Money laundering investigations (400000 Pounds were recovered with no trace where the came from)

    Where is the propaganda in all that? Mqm itself admits all to a certain extent except point 1. I don’t understand what will be the lawsuit for? On the other hand bbc can consider lawsuit for being accused under taliban influence while making this documentary.


  • Khan
    Jul 12, 2013 - 9:29AM

    This is the time when the people of Karachi can stand up against the mafia called MQM. The falling walls needs just another push. Now or never.


  • FN
    Jul 12, 2013 - 9:31AM

    MQM, it’s officials and supporters are indeed in self denial. Either they can’t see truth or have too big egos to see it out there in the open.

    I saw the BBC programme. There was nothing fake or fictional. Factual reporting and investigative journalism. Was a raid not conducted? Was Altaf Hussain not interrogated? Was the money not recovered?

    The writing is on the wall. I hope Altaf Hussain sees the end which he deserves. Behind bars or worse. Karachi and Pakistan have had enough.


  • Asad
    Jul 12, 2013 - 9:39AM

    @Aysha M:
    We can feel what you see!!


  • Zara
    Jul 12, 2013 - 10:04AM

    @ Aysha M… U cannot justify murder and money laundering just coz ur party was part of development of Karachi…..Justify it by filing a lawsuit against BBC now…. Fight the case of Mr Altaf hussain in UK criminal court and after u win, file a defamation suit against Scotland yard….Till then we Pakistanis will rejoice at the impending demise of an offender and his team….and oh yes we r also bracing for the voilent repercussions which ur beloved ‘prodevelopment’, ‘innocent’ and ‘nonvoilent’ party will bring in the aftermath…..


  • ali
    Jul 12, 2013 - 10:22AM

    unfortunately, there is no other party for the urdu speaking community, Altaf is the only leader who speaks for us!


  • Jul 12, 2013 - 10:57AM

    My friends in MQM should remember that these happenings are in UK, where thay can not intimidate the press, police and even the administration for that matter. Instead of conducting such press conferences and giving shallow arguments-cum-threats, they should do some brainstorming for post-Altaf sitution to save their party to split in several factions.


  • Rashdi
    Jul 12, 2013 - 11:06AM

    @ Ms. Ayesha M

    So when is your so called party MQM going to sue BBC?


  • amir
    Jul 12, 2013 - 11:06AM

    Well BBC should also do a program where Imran Khan told the talibans to hold on to thier bombings as soon he will be the PM to carry on their ideology. A case should be filed on that.


  • Aysha M
    Jul 12, 2013 - 11:12AM

    Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty


  • Dr Puppo
    Jul 12, 2013 - 11:18AM

    He got what he deserve. I hope great people of United Kingdom put him jail for money laundering and killing of innocent Pakistani people.


  • Aysha M
    Jul 12, 2013 - 11:23AM

    If MQM had the means to intimidate to achieve its end, it would not lose 15000 people to state persecution and 3 parliamentarians to Talibans


  • Dilip
    Jul 12, 2013 - 11:26AM

    Look at the picture of the MAN. The AURA!!!!!!!!!!


  • ab
    Jul 12, 2013 - 11:56AM

    @Aysha M

    BBC is meaningfull until it start questioning MQM?, why does Taliban has to come up in everything MQM has to say?.

    MQM should take BBC to court if they think everything is a lie.


  • Zak
    Jul 12, 2013 - 12:55PM

    Just like the “criminal defamation” case that was going to be filed against Imran Khan, What a joke.


  • Ahsan
    Jul 12, 2013 - 1:37PM

    @Aysha M

    Wait and watch the destruction of so called “Middle class” party Mqm!
    Justice has to be prevail one day and people like you will see the actual face!


  • Waqas
    Jul 12, 2013 - 2:31PM

    @Aysha M
    What do you smoke?


  • faheema
    Jul 12, 2013 - 2:47PM

    It is hard for Urdu-speakers to overcome their malicious mindset, their biases against locals, pseudo sacrifices they believe they made for locals.


  • Aysha M
    Jul 12, 2013 - 2:50PM



  • Fahad Mirza
    Jul 12, 2013 - 4:44PM

    Time for mqm and its supporters to come out of their la la land….in which they think they are invincible!!!


  • SM
    Jul 12, 2013 - 5:54PM

    @Aysha M:
    If Altaf is such a great leader, what is he afraid of? Why is he sitting in Edware Road giving speeches in a stupor? Let him return to Pakistan and face the music.

    I am no supporter of Musharraf but he had to guts to return to Pakistan and face the courts and public opinion.


  • Rehan Baig
    Jul 12, 2013 - 6:35PM

    Count Down Start for next round, ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, ………….


  • Iqbal Hadi Zaidi
    Jul 12, 2013 - 9:51PM

    After a long struggle MQM came into prominence and MQM will die its sudden death if Altaf is arrested and jailed in UK. Altaf has proved to be the best leader who addressed thousands of people in different cities and towns simultaneously for many long years which no other leader including Zardari, Imran,Nawaz and others can boast of but it is really very much shocking to know that Altaf is accused of so many crimes which has saddened all those who even worshipped him. Altaf must speed up taking legal action against all those who have dented his reputation which itself shall prove that he is innocent. Good luck for Altaf for whom thousands must be praying.
    Iqbal Hadi Zaidi / Kuwait


  • Pashtunyar
    Jul 12, 2013 - 11:05PM

    Look at Altaf bhai’s glow in the Picture! He is a Saint for god sake!


  • Saleem
    Jul 13, 2013 - 1:22AM

    It been more than 48 hours since documentary against Altaf Hussain was shown by BBC. If MQM is innocent, as it claims, then why no lawsuit in UK has been filed against BBC. An inaction would mean whatever was alleged in the documentary was correct.


  • Reas Ekberg.
    Jul 13, 2013 - 6:08AM

    Mark Tally’s lies are proverbial in Pakistan. It was BBC which broadcasted the false news of fall of Lahore in 1965 war with India. There was no law suit against BBC by the Ayub Government.


  • Jul 13, 2013 - 11:41AM

    Don’t we all know those of us who have been living in Karachi and how the peace has been taken away in the last 27 years from this city.
    Wake up Karachi if you don’t want Bhattas, body bags, torture cells, strikes etc.
    Don’t be afraid of anyone. The days of fear are over.(Hopefully)


  • True Karachiwala
    Jul 13, 2013 - 12:43PM

    @Lyari: Your pseudonym says it loud and clear that you are:

    You clearly want to see MQM eliminated even if you have to get help from lyari gangster
    All these shows that you & (229 likers) are biased and blind towards MQM

  • True Karachiwala
    Jul 13, 2013 - 12:45PM

    @Waziristani:No. you will see MQM till you are alive and afterwards your generation, INSHA ALLAH


  • True Karachiwala
    Jul 13, 2013 - 1:04PM

    @Pakistani: If true, then who is stopping your MetPolice to arrest AH on DIF murder case ?? just go to London and please guide MetPolice in these investigations, Sherlock Holmes!!


  • True Karachiwala
    Jul 13, 2013 - 1:05PM

    @Abrar R: They are not low tier leadership. Do you want a gathering of 100 people to say these words ??


  • True Karachiwala
    Jul 13, 2013 - 1:07PM

    @Khan: You are an ANP activist ?


  • True Karachiwala
    Jul 13, 2013 - 1:11PM

    @Zara: @ Aysha M… U cannot justify murder and money laundering just coz ur party was part of development of Karachi…

    Ms.Zara these are allegations and your MEtpolice still investigating, just this fact robs any one of his/her defence ?? You are writing with presumptions


  • True Karachiwala
    Jul 13, 2013 - 2:33PM

    *@Pashtunyar: Look at Altaf bhai’s glow in the Picture! He is a Saint for god sake!*

    wow its your style of MQM hatred. You decided to look different here. Now you have objection even on his portrait. You are one of the big looser. Please come up with some arguements.


  • True Karachiwala
    Jul 13, 2013 - 2:34PM

    @Saleem: Filing a law suit is not hour bound.


  • Zahra Sajid.
    Jul 13, 2013 - 3:59PM

    Most of the above posters are Pakistanis and they all WISH bad for Altaf Hussain. They want to accelerate the investigation. Disgusting.


  • Jul 13, 2013 - 5:27PM

    It seems ET has been threatened and is not publishing comments.
    I have sent a few but they have not published it could be that someone from MQM supporters has taken the Moderators position and is not allowing factual comments.


  • Jul 13, 2013 - 6:01PM

    @ true karachiwala
    It’s not too far InshaAllah you will see what will happen. ‘Allah ki lathi bay awaz huti hay’
    It has become MQM supporters habit to distort historical facts, threat others, and dislodge grievances of their own shortcomings.
    All main anchors, channels, political parties can’t be wrong. I am saying this as I have lived all my life in Karachi and seen how Karachi has been destroyed by the thugs. In their skewed, flawed, senseless, illegitimate definition of a Muhajir, I too may be labelled the same but clearly I in any form/believe have the same stance but am a simple Karachite and a sincere Pakistani and believe that
    Karachi needs peace which will only come without MQM.
    Karachi wake up.


  • A. Khan
    Jul 13, 2013 - 6:15PM

    @Aysha M: It could also be very embarrassing for MQM as everything would have to be brought out in public. At least that is what BBCs lawyers would do. Do you want to reconsider the lawsuit ?


  • Jul 13, 2013 - 7:09PM

    Peace loving Karachites and non MQM supporters start sending evidence to BBC so they know and they can show more and may also use this in the court of law.

    If BBC can do this other channels must do that as well.
    Hats off to the team of ‘Khara such’


  • expaki
    Jul 13, 2013 - 7:11PM

    @Aysha M: “BBC will come down to their knees for outside court settlement ” Aaisaan Bibi,


  • expaki
    Jul 13, 2013 - 7:15PM

    @SHB: “£400,000 or $600000. From where he got this money? What is the answer by Mr Altaf? oye Jhaliaa, answer is very simple its BHATTA.


  • Jul 13, 2013 - 7:20PM

    @arzal Ahmed, @ mrs Ahmed,@ Aysha @true Karachiwala
    You are all brainwashed, it is so unfortunate for Karachi that supporters of MQM like you cannot recognise what has been happening to Karachi and you are at the mercy of a ‘thug’ sadly who you worship.
    There are three D’s for you;
    You are in Denial, Delusional and Disassociated with ground realities.
    From Quaid-e-tahreeq, then Pir,(images seen on leaves etc) then Haqparast Sathi, then Bhai, but he will always be remembered as someone who destroyed community cohesion in Karachi and whatever Scotland Yard will prove. MQM’s complete ideology is senseless, flawed and based on distorted facts of history.
    You will see soon Scotland Yard will prove everything and Karachi hopefully can see its lights again. InshaAllah.

    Bravo BBC to highlight this menace to the world. I wished this was done 27 years ago and we as Karachites would have been in a better/ peaceful situation. Also hoped our media persons had the courage then to show what we Karchites have been through i.e. Bhattas, torture cells, body bags, targetted killings, vandalism, setting buses on fire, intimidation/ threats, terror, snatching of hides during Eid, wall chalking with discriminatory slogans, unnecessary strikes, setting buses on fire, threatening of teachers, introduction of cheating in institutions , damage caused to various public departments such Karachi water and sewerage board, etc.

    The thug has openly threatened the British system in his speech and is an embarrassment.


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