Altaf Hussain in a real fix now
On Saturday, British government forwarded to London Metropolitan Police the reference sent by Pakistani government. British home ministryís official condemned the events that occurred on August 22 following Altaf Hussainís anti-Pakistan speech. The official said that the police would completely examine the evidences submitted by Pakistanís interior ministry. He said that the British government would contact Islamabad if they need more evidences. The reference contended that Altaf Hussain not only violated Pakistani laws but also British and international laws on August 22. Pakistanís Interior Ministry had sent a reference to British government against Muttahida Qaumi Movementís (MQM) founder Altaf Hussain after he delivered an anti-Pakistan speech on 22nd August 2016 that led to violent protest in Karachi. In the past, Pakistan had many a time pointed out that he was inciting violence through his hate speeches, but British government turned a deaf ear to such verbal references.
But this time round, British government has responded to Pakistanís written request, and forwarded the reference to Metropolitan Police. The MQM since its establishment has been controversial and faced many allegations of stirring violence, denying space to other political parties in Karachi and its efforts to destabilize Pakistan. After last yearís BBCís documentary and report, party seemed to be in real trouble, as two senior leaders of the MQM told the UK authorities that they received funds from Indian government. UK authorities while investigating the MQM for alleged money laundering had searched party premises and residence of Altaf Hussain, and among other records found a list of weapons for which order was placed and partial payment had also been made. Reportedly, British authorities had formally recorded interviews with two senior MQM officials who told them the party was receiving funds from India.
However, MQM spin doctors had rejected the BBC report stating that it was based on the information provided by Pakistanís agencies. Altaf Hussain on one hand has been inviting military to impose Martial Law. On the other hand, he has been badmouthing military and other institutions; but always got away with it. In May, 2015, Altaf Hussain in an apparent reference to fall of Dhaka had said: ďThe youth should get arms and commando trainingÖ.If RAW can help provide us arms, we will then tell those who have arms.Ē However, Altaf Hussain later tendered unconditional apology, adding that to seek assistance from Indian intelligence agency RAW was just satire. Now it transpired that it was a reality. Altaf Hussain had delivered many hate speeches against his opponents and law enforcing agencies. He has been preaching violence against his opponents since the time he formed Muhajir Qaumi Movement.
But Islamabad never formally protested to UK authorities for allowing their citizen Altaf Hussain to incite hatred and revolt against Pakistan and its national security institutions. The UK authorities had started investigating the MQM in 2010 when a senior party leader, Imran Farooq, was stabbed to death outside his home in north London. In the course of those inquiries the police found around £500,000 ($787,350) in the MQMís London office and Altaf Hussainís residence. That prompted a second investigation into possible money laundering; but no one seemed to have been charged so far. It was ironical that the party that had been in power and enjoyed perks, privileges and powers of governance for more than three decades, and for almost five years in coalition with the PPP at federal and Sindh level could stoop so low as to denigrate countryís institutions and play in the hands of enemies of Pakistan.
Intelligence reports, based on material uncovered before and after Operation Clean-up Karachi 1992, had revealed controversial and illegal acts of the MQM and its leader Altaf Hussain. But he had been lucky as he got away with due to his partyís position in urban Sindh. But there was more to it. During 1992 operation, he had reportedly phoned Irfanullah Marwat son in law of then president Ishaque Khan; and on his beseeching the operation was halted. Not only Zia or Pervez Musharraf, even the PPP and the PML-N had also fallen prey to expediencies and formed coalitions with a view to securing numbers to form government. Of course, the PPP and PML-N had conducted operations against the MQM when it tried to blackmail the federal or provincial government to get more slots in the cabinet or to seek more privileges.