ISLAMABAD: The medical report of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain, who was arrested in London on June 3 for alleged money laundering, will determine if he is healthy enough to record a statement before the Metropolitan police, Express News reported on Wednesday.
Hussain was arrested from his house in northwest London and spent the night at a local hospital in police custody, where he got medical tests and a check-up done. Thus far, he has not been released on bail or indicted.
Doctors will conduct a fasting blood test today at around 11am GMT after which it will be decided if Hussain is fit to be interrogated by the police or not.
Altaf is still in custody and until he is interrogated, the police cannot permit anyone to see him.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Wednesday contacted Governor of Sindh Ishratul Ebad via telephone and spoke about the health of the MQM chief. This is the second time they have contacted the governor.
The prime minister and the interior minister assured him that the government will support MQM legally.
The MQM party members and supporters continued their sit-in at Numaish Chowrangi for a second day. Party members and leaders, including women, children and the elderly, had gathered at the junction Tuesday evening to stage a peaceful protest. Leaders of the party taking part in the demonstration said that they have no standing without their leader.
MQM supporters during the sit-in at Numaish Chowrangi on June 4. PHOTO: RABIA ALI
Members from the Christian community also joined the sit-in on Wednesday. A representative stated that Altaf Hussain and MQM have their support, adding that it was wrong of the London police to arrest such an esteemed leader without an enquiry.
Public transport services were suspended in the city and many businesses remained shut. Several petrol pumps in Karachi are also closed.
MQM representative Farooq Sattar said “90 percent of businesses and public transport have been closed on a voluntary basis.” Speaking to Express News at Numaish Chowrangi, he stated that people have stopped these activities out of their love for Altaf Hussain.
“It is true that 10 percent of people have closed their shops out of fear, but that is fear of those people who would take advantage of such situations,” Sattar stated.
Reiterating MQM’s earlier stance, the senior leader said that his party will hold a peaceful demonstration in a democratic manner. He added that their purpose in holding a sit-in at Numaish Chowrangi is to show Hussain support and assure him that he is not alone.
Sattar also said that any violence in the city is against MQM’s policy.
He also requested the government to contact the British government and assure the supporters of the MQM chief that necessary steps were being taken for the protection of Hussain’s life as well as for his well-being.
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) senior leader Nisar Khuhro is also taking part in the sit-in. At the dharna, Khuhro expressed support for MQM, saying that “it was nice to support a democratic companion and it was their duty to support each other.”
Meanwhile, Inspector General (IG) Sindh and the Additional IG joined Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah at the CM House and briefed him about the current law-and-order situation in Karachi. Shah advised the police officials to maintain peace in the city.
As a pre-emptive measure, intermediate and technical board examinations have been postponed in the metropolitan city. Some universities – including Karachi University (KU), Federal Urdu University, Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET) and Jinnah-Sindh Medical University – have also delayed their examinations.