KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leaders demanded answers from the British Prime Minister David Cameron about the ‘harassment’ of their party chief and workers as well as the closure of Altaf Hussain’s bank accounts in the UK.
“I want to ask David Cameron that when MQM is fully cooperating in police investigations, why is Altaf Hussain being harassed? Why are his bank accounts being frozen when no FIR has been lodged against him, and no charge against him has been framed in court,” said the party’s parliamentarian Dr Farooq Sattar on Sunday.
Thousands of MQM workers had turned up at rally at the Tibet Center, MA Jinnah Road to express solidarity with their leader Altaf Hussain.
Sattar said that Altaf’s last bank account would be frozen by the British authorities on June 6.
“In the money laundering case, we have submitted proof of every penny received. I want to ask the authorities how a UK resident can survive without a back account. How will he pay his utility bills and cater to the needs of his 11-year-old daughter?”
In an interview to a news channel last week, Altaf had revealed that all his bank accounts in Britain were frozen by the authorities.
“Altaf Hussain’s right to life is being trampled. This is a matter of human rights,” he said adding that the authorities were violating human rights as well as the Magna Carta.
The MQM leader said that they shall approach the British courts against the injustice and demonstrate outside 10 Downing Street, but would also continue to cooperate in investigations.
He said that said Altaf Hussain has a hobby of collecting coins, and said that this is not a cognizable offense.
“We will not tolerate prejudice whether in the UK or Pakistan.”
The party’s deputy convener, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui claimed that two million people had turned up at the rally.
“Altaf was the one to give to us identity and recognition,” he said to the crowd, where the supporters held ‘We love Altaf Hussain’ banners and shouted slogans in favour of the party chief.
Barrister Saif Ali said that if people think that by closing bank accounts and hurling false accusations on Altaf they can damage his ideology and the party movement, they are mistaken.
MNA Nabil Gabil said that those accusing Altaf of money-laundering should first investigate the money in Swiss accounts and the huge houses present near Hyde Park in London.
“Only a small house belonging to a poor man in Edgware Road is being targeted,” he added.
Gabol also said that Altaf Hussain does not need any NIC or passport to prove his Pakistani identity, and said that if Altaf is not considered a Pakistani, then neither should Nawaz Sharif and Chaudhry Nisar be considered Pakistanis as well.
“When Altaf comes to Karachi, millions of people will go to the airport to receive him and will take him to Nine Zero without any passport,” he said.
MQM leader Haider Abbas Rizvi appealed to Davuid Cameron that Altaf was the only modern, liberal and secular leader in the country. “His views should be heard and his issues should be resolved.”
MPA Faisal Sabzwari said that they would defeat conspiracies by expressing love for their leader and by supporting them, and said that he was the first leader to raise voice against terrorism and Talibanisation.