Pakistan charges MQM chief Altaf Hussain with treason for inflammatory speech

Karachi: Pakistan on Tuesday charged MQM chief Altaf Hussain with treason for his inflammatory speech that incited party workers to attack media outlets.

Supports of MQM hold poster of chief Altaf Hussain. Reuters

Supports of MQM hold a poster of chief Altaf Hussain. Reuters

Hussain, leader of Mutthaida-E-Qaumi Movement - the single largest party in Karachi, was accused of raising anti-Pakistan slogans at a protest rally that turned violent. Several journalists of various media organisation were attacked by the activists of the MQM. The protesters pelted stones and resorted to heavy aerial firing that killed one person and wounded others.

Two cases have been filed against Hussain: one for treason for his anti-Pakistan speech to participants in the hunger strike organised by MQM and the other for inciting party workers to violent protests, Inspector General of Sindh AD Khawaja was quoted as saying by the Geo News.

The case pertains to the attack on 'ARY News' office, vandalising of property, arson and pelting of stones at police. MQM party workers took to streets on Monday after Hussain, in an address from London, incited them to storm media outlets and chant anti-Pakistan slogans during the hunger strike. The hunger strike was launched to protest the disappearance and arrest of their workers by the paramilitary rangers.

Responding to the protests, paramilitary rangers launched a major offensive here and sealed offices of the party. The senior membership of MQM confirmed that they are no longer under the directive of Hussain. Senior MQM leader Farooq Sattar and other leaders said that in future the party would operate from Pakistan alone and that all decisions would be taken by the leadership in Pakistan and not from London from where Hussain has controlled the MQM for years now.

"The MQM should operate from Pakistan alone," Sattar said. "We totally disassociate ourselves from the violence that took place in Karachi on Monday. It is totally against our policy to use violence to achieve our ends," he added.

"Altaf Hussain and the entire party are being ridiculed due to these statements," Sattar added. "Enough is enough we cannot side with anti-Pakistan statements or ideology," said another MQM leader Aamir Liaquat Hussain.

The MQM remains the single largest party in Karachi for decades now and have dominated the political landscape for years sweeping provincial and national elections but since the clean-up operation began on the orders of the centre, the party has come under intense pressure.

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Updated Date: Aug 23, 2016 20:36:30 IST

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