KARACHI: The government has approached the British authorities, including Scotland Yard, with all evidence of the seditious and incendiary speeches of MQM chief Altaf Hussain, so that legal action could be taken against him, said Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, who dashed to the metropolis on Wednesday, to review the security situation there.
“We will use legal and constitutional options against the MQM chief and those who were involved in this act,” Nisar told a news conference two days after Altaf shouted anti-Pakistan slogans and incited his supporters to attack private media houses in the city. “The London police told us that they are aware of it,” Nisar said, adding that the government has all evidence of Altaf’s involvement in money laundering and receiving foreign funds.
MQM rejects minus-Altaf fate
British authorities have been investigating the MQM chief for money laundering when Scotland Yard recovered a huge pile of cash from his residence and office in December 2012. He was arrested in June 2013 and released after questioning and was bailed six times since. No formal charges have been brought against Altaf so far even though police in early 2016 found over 70 bank accounts in the country linked to the party, with 26 of those under Altaf’s name.
“We are also assessing whether Monday’s vitriolic was Altaf’s personal decision or he had received directives from somewhere else,” the interior minister said, adding that some elements did not want to see peace in Karachi but the government would foil their plots. The MQM has long been accused by Pakistani officials of receiving funds from India to foment trouble in Karachi.
In April this year, Pakistani intelligence agencies arrested a senior serving official of Indian navy, Kulbushan Yadav, who confessed to working for the Research & Analysis Wing (RAW), India’s top intelligence agency, to create trouble in Balochistan and Karachi.
Monday’s rioting by MQM workers and Altaf’s inciteful speech triggered a crackdown leading to the sealing of the party’s headquarters Nine Zero, along with several other offices, in the metropolis and elsewhere in Sindh. At least four treason cases were also registered against Altaf and his senior aides in different police stations of the city.
Unlike the past, Altaf’s speech failed to stir up trouble in Karachi. Instead his senior aides, including Dr Farooq Sattar, Khawaja Izharul Hassan, Nasreen Jalil and Amir Liaquat Hussain, disowned the all-powerful London office of the party and decided to run the party from Pakistan. “Karachi’s citizens thwarted the conspiracy to create a law and order situation,” he said.
Altaf Hussain apologises to army chief after anti-Pakistan speech
Nisar appreciated the Urdu-speaking community which has rendered scarifies at the time of creation of Pakistan. “No one will support MQM chief in chanting slogans against Pakistan,” he added.
The interior minister said the federal and Sindh governments have reiterated their resolve that nobody would be allowed to ignite fire of hatred and spread terrorism in any form in the city. “Any activity which causes threat to life, liberty, public and private property, business activities and day-to-day life will be dealt with an iron hand,” he said.
Nisar said the government has launched a ‘safe city project’ in consultation with defence and security experts in Islamabad, and it would be replicated in Karachi. “The Centre will support the Sindh government in dealing with terrorism and crime in Karachi,” he said, adding that the prime minister would also convene a high-level meeting of the chief ministers in Islamabad where security issues would be discussed.
Asked if the government planned to ban the MQM, he said, “It is provincial government’s mandate. If the provincial government recommends a ban, the federal government and its agencies will implement it.”
When quizzed about Tuesday’s presser of Dr Farooq Sattar which was construed as breaking away of the MQM from its London office, the interior minister said: “You will soon learn whether or not the MQM has been divided.” Earlier, the law and order situation in the city was deliberated on in a meeting held at the CM House attended by Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad, Nisar along with CM’s Advisor on Law Murtaza Wahab, Chief Secretary Siddique Memon, DG Rangers Major General Bilal Akbar, IG Sindh AD Khwaja and other senior officers.
The meeting observed that the incidents of August 22 were part of a pre-planned move to hijack peace in the city. Nisar appreciated that timely move by the `young and energetic’ chief minister managed to nip the nefarious designs of ‘outlaws and enemies of Pakistan’ in the bud.
Shah disclosed that FIR of the incident had been registered and that most of the people who targeted vehicles or ransacked offices of ARY TV stations had been identified. The Sindh governor said there should be a coordinated effort between federal and provincial government for sustainable peace.
Courtesy : Express Tribune