KARACHI: 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.
The MQM chief was released on bail on Saturday, four days after he was arrested by the Metropolitan Police. The fate of the probe has yet to be decided as the Scotland Yard, a metonym for the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police, has summoned Altaf in July, without making the exact date public.
“The 60-year-old man arrested on June 3 on suspicion of money laundering has been released on police bail to a date in July pending further enquiries,” said the police in an email statement, without naming the suspect. The police’s press bureau explained that the ‘police bail’ is a term used when a person arrested in connection with a criminal offence is released from police custody while the investigation continues and until they are next required to appear at a police station at a specific date and time.
Regarding Altaf’s July appearance, Nasir Jamal, who is the deputy convenor of MQM’s Rabita Committee, believes that the party will positively tackle the issue on the legal front and MQM supporters will not have to come out on the streets to stage protests.
“We do not have any political movement in consideration because we cannot influence the government of another country for our legal rights and demands,” Jamal told The Express Tribune. Regarding the protests as well as the peaceful sit-ins following Altaf’s June 3 arrest that locked down several cities in Sindh, especially Karachi, Jamal claimed that MQM supporters did not take to the streets to influence the British authorities or to show their anger. “It was their expression of love for the party’s founding chief. The MQM has set an example before the world by containing millions of ardent supporters to express their sentiments in a peaceful manner.”
MQM chief speaks
Soon after the acceptance of his bail application, Altaf travelled to MQM’s international secretariat in London where he addressed his party lawmakers and supporters at the protest sit-ins, who were listening to him in 14 cities across the country.
Earlier, he was taken to the Southwark police station where he was questioned for nine hours, after having been discharged from the Wellington Hospital. “I would neither bow down nor compromise my virtuous stance in this struggle against oppressors,” Altaf said, adding that he had never compromised on principles during his stay in London. “My case rests with the British court and I respect the British laws and judicial system. Truth will prevail by the grace of Allah.” He said that he will continue his struggle against injustices even if he has to sacrifice his life like [Imam] Hussain (RA).
Contrary to the apprehensions registered by the MQM leadership over his arrest in the face of ill-health conditions, Altaf thanked officers of the Scotland Yard and London Metropolitan Police for their care and providing him with the best medical treatment and facilities.
The MQM chief also expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for his moral and diplomatic support and former president Asif Ali Zardari and his party’s leaders for expressing solidarity with him during the crisis.
Protest camps across Pakistan concluded after Altaf addressed workers, who had earlier announced to sit in protests until they hear the voice of their leader. He thanked them for organising peaceful protests across the country and told them that they should now go home.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 8th, 2014.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ