Altaf Hussain updates: MQM chief not barred from travelling, says party leader

MQM leader Mustafa Azizabadi adds Altaf Hussain doesn't intend to visit Pakistan at this moment.


MQM supporters offer each other sweets as they celebrate the news that MQM leader Altaf Hussain has been released on bail following his arrest, during a protest in Hyderabad on June 7, 2014.

LONDON/ KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain was arrested in London on suspicion of money-laundering charges on June 3. Hussain has been released on bail which is valid till July. 

Sit-ins in various cities of Sindh including Karachi and Hyderabad were staged by the MQM supporters to protest the arrest of Altaf Hussain by the Scotland Yard on suspicion of money laundering.



June 8, 1:23pm

MQM leader Mustafa Azizabadi says Altaf Hussain is not barred from travelling. He, however, added that the MQM chief doesn't intend to visit Pakistan at this moment.

In a press statement issued after Hussain’s release on bail, MQM says the party chief is well aware that investigation into charges of money laundering is legal.

The party also thanked London police for providing Hussain with best medical facilities while he was in their custody.

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June 8, 3:00am

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has no plans to start political agitation in reaction to the British police investigations into money-laundering charges against its chief, Altaf Hussain, said party leader Nasir Jamal.



June 7, 1:42pm

The sit-ins by the MQM have ended after the party chief got bail.

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June 7, 5:36am

MQM chief thanks all the politicians, his party workers and public for their support in his first address to the party workers after his release on bail from the police station.



PHOTO: MQM FACEBOOK PAGE

He says that he has arranged lawyers and will fight his battle through legal means.

MET police has not shared the details regarding Altaf Hussain’s bail. The bail is valid until July, say police.

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June 7, 4:36am

MQM chief Altaf Hussain on his way to MQM's international secretariat in London.





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June 7, 3:57am

MQM chief Altaf Hussain has been released on bail after being interviewed for almost nine hours by the Metropolitan police in London, according to Express News correspondent Naseem Siddiqui.

Sindh Governor Ishratul Ibad has congratulated MQM workers upon hearing the news. "The release of MQM chief is the fruit of the prayers of MQM workers," says Ibad.

Hussain is likely to address supporters who have been protesting against his arrest in various cities of Sindh.



June 6, 4:34pm

MQM chief discharged from the hospital and shifted to a police station, Express News reports.

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June 6, 4:26pm

The required documents for the issuance of a passport and a national identity card to Altaf Hussain have not been provided yet, the Foreign Office says on Friday.

While briefing the media, Foreign Office Spokesperson Tasnim Aslam says that the processing of the documents will be initiated, once "Mr Altaf Hussain completes the process".

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June 6, 1:59pm

The time Hussain spent at the hospital will not be included in the investigation time, Express News correspondent Naseem Siddiqui reports.

Investigation time can continue up till 66 hours once the MQM chief is taken to the police station.

Before going to the hospital, Hussain was at the police station for 6 hours.

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June 6, 12:26pm

Police and lawyers will meet the MQM chief today and it will be decided whether Hussain will stay at the hospital or be taken to the police station.

He is still in the custody of Scotland Yard.

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June 6, 12:12pm

After reviewing the medical report of Altaf Hussain's angiography, doctors in the UK declare MQM chief's health satisfactory, Express News reports.

It is expected that he will be discharged today.

Whether the MQM chief was healthy enough to record a statement before the Metropolitan police depended on the report.

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June 6, 11:34am

MQM legislator Dr Sagheer Ahmed, while speaking to the media in Karachi, says prayer sessions are being carried out throughout Pakistan.



Express News screengrab of MQM legislator Dr Sagheer Ahmed speaking to the media in Karachi.

The MQM legislator says the party is expressing its emotions and protesting peacefully according to Hussain's advice, adding that this is an example for the world.

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June 6, 11:15am

MQM is observing a 'day of prayer' today. This is being done for the well-being of the MQM chief.

The sit-ins continue for a fourth day today.

Economic activities have been restored in Karachi and Hyderabad.

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June 6, 10:22am

MQM chief has undergone angiography, Express News reports.

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June 6, 12:45am

Addressing a press conference on early Friday, MQM deputy convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said MQM Chief Altaf Hussain contacted the MQM International Secretariat in London from the hospital and informed that he would taken for the angiography in a while, Express News reported.

Altaf Hussain urged the party workers to remain united in these testing times, said Siddiqui.

MQM coordination committee declared Friday as ‘day of prayer’, prayer sessions to be held for the well-being of Altaf Hussain.



June 5, 9:30pm

A spokesperson of the Federal Government has clarified the statement of Minister for Information and Broadcasting and National Heritage Senator Pervaiz Rashid regarding issuance of passport to MQM Chief Altaf Hussain.

"The minister had actually said that it was decided in principle that a Pakistani passport would be issued to Altaf Hussain," the spokesperson added.

The reported news that Pakistani passport or identity card have been issued to Altaf Hussain is not correct, concluded the spokesperson.

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June 5, 8:50pm

According to statement by the ministry of foreign affairs, the interim High Commissioner of Pakistan was accompanied by two Consular Officers of the High Commission.

He also presented a bouquet of flowers to Altaf, on behalf of the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

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 June 5, 6:21pm

Addressing the media at the sit-in, Farooq Sattar said that "through our peaceful protest we have proven to the world that Karachi is a safe place," Express News reported.

Sattar also said that there is a conspiracy against MQM.

Rehman Malik, also present at the sit-in, said "you're not just Altaf bhai, you're an institution."

Meanwhile, senior member of MQM Babar Ghauri has arrived at the hospital to visit Altaf.



Express News screengrab of Babar Ghauri and other members of MQM.

Ghauri has expressed his support to Altaf and said that "MQM is a peace-loving party."

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June 5, 6:08pm

Altaf's passport and CNIC that has been issued to him will be delivered through the courier service.

The interim High Commissioner of Pakistad had quoted the MQM chief as saying "I'm a fighter, and I have faith in the system and the people who are praying for me back home."

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June 5, 5:53pm

Interim High Commissioner of Pakistan has said that the London Police is being completely cooperative.

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June 5, 5:31pm

Express News is quoting Pakistan's interim High Commissioner to the UK as saying that Altaf is in high spirits.

He also added that Altaf has thanked the prime minister and the people for their support.

The interim High Commissioner of Pakistan met Altaf for 20 minutes. He further added that the police will question the MQM chief after he is released from the hospital.

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June 5, 5:22pm

Governor Sindh Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan has spoken to Altaf via telephone to inquire about his health, according to Express News.

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June 5, 4:48pm

The British authorities have accepted Pakistan’s request for consular access to MQM chief Altaf Hussain, a senior foreign ministry official confirmed to The Express Tribunecorrespondent Kamran Yousaf.

The Pakistan High Commission in London had sought consular access to Hussain on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s order.

Interim Pakistan High Commissioner to UK will meet Hussain at the hospital.

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June 5, 4:46pm

Information Minister Pervez Rashid says Altaf Hussain has been issued the National Identification Card and Pakistani passport.

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June 5, 4:44pm

While speaking to the media, DG Rangers Sindh Rizwan Akhtar said that the Rangers and other LEAs are working with the police to monitor the situation in Karachi.

He also said that the Rangers will take into account any complaints that they receive regard disturbances, stating that “no militant will be spared.”

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June 5, 2:54pm

The Express Tribune correspondent Sohail Khattak reported that unidentified armed young men forced shop owners in areas of east, west and central districts of Karachi to shut their businesses down.

These areas include Liaquatabad, Hyderi, Orangi, Ayesha Manzil, North Karachi, Gulistan-e-Johar, Korangi, Surjani Town, Baldia Town and certain blocks of Gulshan-e-Iqbal.

The forced shutdown reportedly began between 12:30pm and 1pm.

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June5, 2:15pm

Hussain will remain admitted at the hospital today, Express News reported.

Doctors say the MQM chief will undergo angiography anytime today.

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June5, 2:10pm

MQM Rabita Committee condemns the shutting down of businesses and shops in some areas of Karachi.

Committee says MQM has no connection with the actions of these extremists.

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June5, 1:27pm

According to our correspondent Sohail Khattak, All Karachi Tajir Ittehad Chairman Atiq Mir has said that businesses and shops were open in 80% of the areas in Karachi.

Mir has further said that unidentified men in certain areas of the city such as Nazimabad, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Liaquatabad and Hyderi were forcing shops and businesses to shut down.

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June5, 12:01pm

MQM leader Farooq Sattar, while speaking to the media in Karachi, says Karachi is a peaceful city.

He further says that the way MQM has shown solidarity with the party chief is a huge success, adding that MQM did not let extremists take advantage of the situation.



Express News screengrab of MQM leader Farooq Sattar speaking to the media in Karachi.

“Because of this a positive image of Karachi has been shown to the world,” states the MQM representative.

He also says that hearing from Hussain was a huge relief and the MQM chief’s health remained the main concern for the party.

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June 5, 10:45am

MQM supporters continue to stage sit-ins in various cities of Sindh including Karachi and Hyderabad to protest against Hussain’s arrest.



Supporters of MQM shout slogans during a sit-in protest calling for party leader Altaf Hussain’s release, in Karachi on June 5, 2014. PHOTO: AFP

Exams postponed in schools in Karachi for a third day.

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June 5, 10:10am

Two days after the arrest of the MQM chief, various cities in Sindh including Karachi and Hyderabad returned to life after MQM Rabita Committee requested traders and transporters to resume their activities.

Public transport returns to the streets, and businesses and markets resume their activities.

Parts of Sindh had been in lockdown for two days with shops and markets closed and people staying at home for fear of violence following the arrest.

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June 5, 12:30am

MQM coordination committee has requested the traders, business community to resume their activities.

We appeal to the traders, business community and transporters to resume their activities, says MQM deputy convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui.

He adds that the decision was taken after the MQM chief called MQM International secretariat in London and informed the coordination committee about his well-being.

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June 4, 11:45pm

Pakistan’s high commission in London has informed the Prime Minister’s office in Islamabad that British authorities have not yet responded to their request for the consular access to MQM chief Altaf Hussain.

“London Police is interrogating Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain and has not responded to their request for the consular access to the person in custody. The official told that nobody, even his daughter Afza Altaf is permitted to see him,” says high commission.

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June 4, 11:00pm

Altaf Hussain contacts the MQM International Secretariat for the first time after being taken into custody and asked workers to remain peaceful, according to a statement issued by the party.

Talking to the MQM coordination committee, the MQM chief informs about his well-being. He asks workers to remain peaceful and urged them not to take law their own hands.

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June 4, 9:26pm

Leaders and activists of the MQM continue their sit-in for a second day at Numaish Chowrangi in Karachi to express solidarity with the MQM.

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June 4, 7:54pm

Speaking from London, MQM leader Wasay Jalil said Altaf’s medical tests have been conducted and they are now waiting for the results to see if he is fit for an interview with the police.

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June 4, 7:30pm

The Pakistan High Commission in London makes a request to British authorities for access to the MQM chief so that they can facilitate him in this case.

“Following instruction from the prime minister, we have requested the British government to provide consular access to Altaf Hussain,” foreign ministry spokesperson Tasnim Aslam tells The Express Tribune.

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June 4, 7:28pm

Former president Pervez Musharraf tweets in support of the MQM leader.

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June 4, 4:28pm

Information Minister Pervez Rashid censures Senator Aitzaz Ahsan for making irresponsible comments on Karachi’s volatile situation, says the government has provided full support to MQM leader Altaf Hussain in regards to his NIC and passport.

“Inappropriate statements can compromise the security situation of Karachi and also the Pakistan Peoples Party’s government in Sindh,” says Rashid, adding that Ahsan should know better about the scenario as his party is in power in the province.

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June 3, 9:26pm

MQM is staging sit-ins in Hyderabad and Sukkur outside the respective Press Clubs. The protestors are demanding that the MQM chief be released.

Members of the MQM Rabita Committee are also taking part in the sit-ins.

Also, MQM representative Wasay Jalil confirms that Altaf Hussain has been taken to a hospital for a medical checkup.

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June 3, 9:21pm

Federal government says that it is ready to help Altaf Hussain legally, Express News reported.

It also advised the Sindh government to protect the property and lives of citizens.

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June 3, 8:39pm

Two hours into the sit in, workers are still arriving at Numaish Chowrangi.

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June 3, 8:22pm

Sattar says that he is concerned about the health and safety of Altaf Hussain as he had to be hospitalised for medical tests.

Another MQM leader had said that a doctor at the police station was present to examine him, reported our correspondent.

Scotland Yard, who earlier in the day stated that a 60-year-old man has been arrested on charges of money laundering, revealed that the person in custody had been moved to a hospital but was still under arrest, Express News reported.

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June 3, 7:53pm

Farooq Sattar says MQM workers desire to continue holding sit ins until Altaf Hussain is released, reported our correspondent.

Another MQM leader has said that they will hold more demonstration in other parts of Karachi from tomorrow onwards.

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June 3, 6:30pm

Activists and leaders have started reaching Numaish Chowrangi for the peaceful sit-in against Hussain’s arrest.

Rangers resorted to aerial firing near Nine Zero, reported our correspondent. No injuries have been reported.

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June 3, 6:01pm

MQM leader Haider Abbas Rizvi announces that the party will soon hold a peaceful sit-in at Numaish Chowrangi, our correspondent from Nine Zero reports.

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June 3, 5:45pm

MQM Coordination Committee condemns the incidents of violence in the city, according to a press release. The committee claims that MQM has nothing to do with the violence, adding that it seems like someone is trying to “defame the party”.

The committee asked people to avoid doing anything against Altaf Hussain’s teachings and guidance, adding that torching shops and buses is not the party leader’s policy.

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June 3, 5:21pm

MQM supporters gather outside Nine Zero shouting slogans in protest of Hussain’s arrest: “Leader leader, Altaf, our leader.”

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June 3, 5:01pm

MQM leader Haider Abbas Rizvi urges party workers to remain peaceful and keep in touch with the party headquarters, RadioPakistan reports.

It further reports that Rizvi asked party workers not to resort to violence as some forces would try to capitalize on it.

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June 3, 4:48pm

BBC reports that a senior MQM official has said the party was not trying to conceal or hide what has happened.

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June 3, 4:43pm

Farooq Sattar claims Deputy Convenor of MQM London Nadeem Nusrat is in contact with Altaf Hussain.

The MQM representative also says that Altaf Hussain’s health is their party’s top priority. He adds that the MQM chief needed to be hospitalised and get treatment immediately.

“We have to pray for his health,” says the MQM leader.

He also warns MQM workers that they should not give exploiters the opportunity to take advantage of the situation.

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June 3, 4:37pm

MQM leader Farooq Sattar claims that Hussain was headed to the hospital when the Metropolitan Police came to his residence with a search warrant.

Sattar adds that MQM’s lawyers reached in time to handle the situation.

According to Sattar, the party lawyers and London police are still present at Hussain’s residence.

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June 3, 4:29pm

Three magistrates will reportedly indict Altaf Hussain at 9pm (PST) today, according to sources.

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June 3, 4:22pm

MQM leader Haider Abbas Rizvi says the party does not want the MQM chief to be harmed in any way. Rizvi claims that Altaf Hussain is still at his home.

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June 3, 4:18pm

Metropolitan Police say that the 60-year-old suspect that had been arrested earlier has now been shifted to the police station, Express News reports.

A spokesman of the British High Commission in Islamabad said only London Police can confirm the arrest, RadioPakistan reports.

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June 3, 4:08pm

In a press statement, leader of the Opposition Khurshid Shah says that Pakistan Peoples Party will support MQM.

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June 3, 4:05pm

Pakistan Railways has stopped train operations in Sindh temporarily.

Governor Sindh Ishratul Ebad has contacted the Prime Minister, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and other top officials of the federal government regarding this issue.………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

June 3, 4:03pm

Heavy contingents of Rangers have arrived in many areas to take control of the security situation.

MQM Rabita Committee says they are very much in contact with Altaf Hussain.

Though MQM has claimed that Altaf Hussain is present at his house in London, there are media reports that MQM chief has been arrested.

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June 3, 3:50pm

Five vehicles were set on fire through Karachi including a bus in Federal B area, a truck in Gulshan-e-Iqbal and a coach near Aisha Manzil.

The Karachi Stock Exchange has recovered substantially from its 780 point drop but is still down by 224 points.

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June 3, 3:26pm

The Rabita Committee also tells party leaders and workers that they should not pay heed to rumours.

In the press conference, MQM Rabita Committee London did not comment on whether Altaf Hussain was under arrest or not.

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June 3, 3:23pm

MQM Rabita Committee London asks members to remain calm. Committee says they should follow Altaf Hussain’s message of peace.

It also says party will act responsibly and handle the matter according to the law.

MQM Rabita Committee London claims Altaf Hussain is at his house. It further claims that the police visited his house this morning for questioning when he was about to go to a hospital for medical check-up.

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June 3, 3:17pm

The MQM Rabita Committee in London is addressing a press conference.

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June 3, 3:10pm

The MQM Rabita Committee will hold a press conference shortly.

According to Scotland Yard’s press release, officers are still searching the residential address in north-west London.

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June 3, 3:00pm

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been informed about the arrest of the MQM chief during a session of the PML-N parliamentary party.

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June 3, 2:55pm

PTI leader Imran Ismail, while speaking to Express News, says security forces should perform as required by the law and should take action against those responsible for forcing businesses to shut down.

Political leader Ejazul Haq points out that security situation in Karachi had always been fragile and that the government should take strict action in order to ensure peace in the city.

PPP parliamentarian Shahla Raza says government should take immediate action to ensure life continues normally in Karachi.

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June 3, 2:46pm

The Karachi Transport Ittehad chief has advised public transporters to park their vehicles at the terminals.

BBC reports that officers are searching a residential address in north-west London, where a 60-year-old man was detained.

Hussain has lived in the UK since 1991, saying his life would be at risk if he returned to Pakistan.

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June 3, 2:40pm

MQM sources in Karachi say they are unable to contact the members of London office.

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June 3, 2:37pm

British High Commission has confirmed the arrest. A special unit of the Scotland Yard arrested him from his house.

Exams have been postponed in various schools. Intermediate Board papers have also been cancelled.

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June 3, 2:27pm

Scotland Yard has not revealed the identity of the man arrested, Express News reported. According to the their press release, a 60-year-old man has been arrested on charges of money-laundering.

Karachi University examinations have been cancelled for the day.

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June 3, 2:22pm

Naeem Khanzada, reporting from Nine-Zero, says party members are gathering at the party headquarters for the emergency meeting.

MQM London Secretariat members say they will announce future course of action once the situation is clearer.

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June 3, 2:15pm

Spokesperson for London Metropolitan Police told The Express Tribune that a 60-year-old man was arrested from North West London on suspicion of money laundering. He further said that they do not disclose identities till the person is charged.

MQM Rabita Committee will be addressing a press conference at 3pm.

Two MQM leaders have denied the arrest of their party chief.

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June 3, 2:12pm

According to MQM leader Khawaja Izharul Hassan, the Rabita Committee has called for an emergency meeting and party members have started to gather at Nine Zero.

Security has been put on high alert throughout Sindh.

Shops and businesses have started to shut down in Karachi and other cities of Sindh.

The British High Commission in Karachi has been temporarily shut down.

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June 3, 2:00pm

MQM Rabita Committee member Aminul Haq says they will issue a statement regarding this and will inform everyone about the situation.

Karachi Stock Exchange dropped by 780 points as soon as the news of Hussain’s arrest broke out.  The market is now recovering.

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June 3, 1:51pm

Hussain was arrested from his house in London’s Edgware area.

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 June 3, 1:46pm

Javed Chaudhry, while speaking to Express News today, said London Police were investigating Hussain for three cases of money laundering, hate speech and Imran Farooq murder.

Background

In June last year, as part of their investigation into the Imran Farooq murder case, Scotland Yard had raided Altaf Hussain’s house in London. The search operation had continued for over 55 hours.

Later in July 2013, a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police in London had told The Express Tribune that a significant amount of money was seized in the raid from the house of the MQM chief. However, the spokesperson did not disclose whether the politician is being questioned over it.

Another spokesperson had said that if a money laundering case is established, then it would be treated as a financial case, separate from the murder case of Dr Imran Farooq.

Farooq, 50, was a former leader of MQM and had lived in London in self-imposed exile from 1999. He was on his way back from work when he was attacked outside his home in Edgware, north London, in September 2010. A post-mortem gave the cause of death as multiple stab wounds and blunt trauma to the head. A kitchen knife and a house brick used in the attack were recovered at the scene.

COMMENTS (155)

Good | 7 years ago | Reply (y)
Riaz Murtaza | 7 years ago | Reply

I believe most of the supports of MQM are scared from the torture and death threats from this party. People are forced to support MQM in Sindh due to the scare of being killed or their loved ones to be kidnapped. The National ID cards of people are collected in advance of any Political gathering of MQM. Their ID cards are returned at the end only. Party needs to stop terror and let the people of Sindh live in peace.

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