Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has denied charges laid on it by Joint Investigation Team’s (JIT) report regarding Baldia Town incident. MQM leader Haider Abbas Rizvi said that fake propaganda was being carried out against MQM to malign the party.
Holding a press conference in Karachi on Sunday along with senior MQM leaders, Haider Abbas Rizvi said that several JITs had been formed in the past and court had refused to accept charges laid by many of them. “MQM was alleged of workingon an alleged ‘Jinnahpur Conspiracy’ in the past. The allegation was false but it took MQM 17 years to get its name cleared”, said Rizvi.
Rizvi said that no JIT was ever formed when Jamaat Islami (JI) leaders were alleged of being involved in Terrorist activities. He said that MQM condemned the Baldia Town incident but the campaign by ‘some channels’ clearly intended to malign the party.Lashing out at Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, Haider Abbas Rizvi said that several cases against Imran were pending in anti-terror courts. He said that Imran Khan tweeted against MQM. Imran Khan had said that he was shocked to know about the tragedy.
Speaking on this occasion, senior MQM leader Dr. Farooq Sattar said that JIT had no legal value and could not be presented as evidence in any court of law. He said that JIT made ‘hearsay’ things part of its report. He said that he had never seen such a baseless report in his life. “A two-year old JIT report has been produced just to malign MQM”, he added.
Farooq Sattar said that report was based on the statements of a person who had nothing to do with the incident. He said that the JIT was incomplete and the opponents were using it for MQM’s media trial.
“Now we are hearing that the respectable judges have made the JIT report a part of the court proceedings. We have decided to challenge this report before the same bench”, he said.
MQM leader said that the “timing of the report is self-explanatory”. “Senate elections are about to take place. MQM’s ‘national character’ has come to the fore as it has taken a firm stance against terrorism. This report surfacing at such a time has many messages hidden in it”, said Sattar.
Dr. Farooq Sattar said that MQM and its leader Altaf Hussain have always stood by the truth and preached non-violence. “We condemn the Baldia Town incident in harshest of words. And if it gets proven that MQM had some role, at any level, to play in it then it won’t become a hurdle in the course of the law”, he concluded.
It is pertinent to mention here that the JIT had presented its report before the court on February 6 and the bench had made the report a part of the proceedings.
Hussain belongs to a muhajir family that moved from Agra, Uttar Pradesh in India to settle in Pakistan following Pakistan’s independence from Britain in 1947. He joined student politics by forming the All Pakistan Muhajir Students Organization (APMSO) in 1978 and later stepped into mainstream politics by founding the MQM in 1984, which is now the fourth largest political party in theNational Assembly of Pakistan. Hussain’s party has had political influence in Pakistan since the 1990s by being a part of several governing coalitions. The party’s political strongholds are the urban cities of Karachi and Hyderabad in Pakistan. As of 2014, Hussain lives in Edgware in north-west London where he applied for and was granted political asylum in 1992.
Altaf Hussain declared The Right Man by the Newsweek in his magzine. Hussain’s political figure has seldom appeared “controversial” to critics who claim that his party showed a readiness to use violence to fight for power. Several allegations of criminal activities have been piled against the MQM involving violence perpetrated by its armed wings, drug trafficking, extortion and land theft.[BBC News has called Hussain “one of Pakistan’s longest-serving and most powerful and divisive politicians”.On 20 May 2013, former cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan accused Hussain of being directly involved in the murder of his party leaderZahra Shahid Hussain and Hussain also faces allegations of murder of his own party leader Imran Farooq, a claim under investigation by the London Metropolitan Police.
Whilst under investigation by the London Metropolitan police, Hussain was also charged with money laundering and hate speech, which led to his arrest on 3 July 2013 where the police raided his house and seized approximately £1 million under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. Hussain was interrogated on 4 July 2013 for Seven hours in connection with the aforementioned money laundering case. More recently, on 3 June 2014, Hussain was again arrested by the police on charges of money laundering. He was later released on bail on 6 June 2014, after he had been questioned thoroughly.
Pacco Qillo address and arrest: October 1986
Before October 1986, the urban city of Hyderabad was largely dominated by the Sindhi nationalist party Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) founded by G. M. Syed giving rise to the nationalist slogan “Sindhu Desh” (or “Sindhi nation”).The only Muhajir political movement countering the JSQM were led by Syed Mubarak Ali Shah of Moti Mahal, Nawab Zahid Ali Khan and Nawab Muzaffar Hussain. After the death of these Muhajir stalwarts, the Urdu-speaking people of Hyderabad yearned for a charismatic Muhajir leadership.
Killing of brother and nephew
In the later months of 1995, the political killings of members from both parties sparked an outcry throughout the city. This involved the killing of the younger brother of PPP’s Syed Abdullah Shah, the Chief Minister of Sindhwhich subsequently led to the killing of Altaf Hussain’s 62-year-old brother Nasir Hussain and 27-year-old nephew Arif Hussain.
It was reported that the Karachi police and the paramilitary Rangers force had arrested Nasir Hussain and his son from the Federal B area in Karachi on 4 and 6 December 1995 respectively.In a statement issued on 7 December 1995, MQM blamed the government and the law enforcement agencies for the unlawful arrests of Nasir and Arif from their residence in Samanabad. On 9 December 1995, the badly mutilated corpses of both Nasir and Arif were found in an isolated area in Gadap Town in Karachi, from where they were taken to a nearby Edhi centre.
Arrest in London
On 3 June 2014 he was arrested in London on charges of money-laundering following a raid by Metropolitan Police at his residence and office. He was released on bail on 6 June 2014.
On 31 October 1986, Altaf Hussain gave his first public address in Hyderabad at the site of the historic Pacco Qillo, where he was greeted by throngs of crowds. After his address, his message was well received by the Urdu-speaking people of Hyderabad and Hussain was able to fill the void left by the deaths of Muhajir leaders. Hussain and a few of his companions, were arrested by security personnel after his address implicating him in several alleged criminal cases. His arrest enraged his supporters who launched public movements for his release. The charges against Hussain and his companions were later dropped and they were released from the Central Prison Karachi on 24 February 1987.
Alleged involvement in criminal activities
Altaf Hussain was having 3576 cases and charges of corruption against him. But in November 2009 all the cases were dropped under National Reconciliation Ordinance, a legal act which granted amnesty to politicians, political workers and bureaucrats who were accused of crimes between 1986 and October 1999, the time between two occurrences of Martial law.However, MQM officials maintain that all these charges were wrong and were put up only to disparage the popularity of Altaf Hussain and MQMand that they are ready to face any of these false accusations at the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
Imran Farooq murder case
On 20 June 2013 a Metropolitan Police team investigating Farooq’s murder raided Altaf Hussain’s residence and searched it for 55 hours.