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Mr. Altaf Hussain led MQM’s properties case: Judge reserved the judgment after series of hearing.

Mr. Altaf Hussain led MQM’s properties case:  Judge reserved the judgment after series of hearing.
 Posted on: 1/27/2023

Mr. Altaf Hussain led MQM’s properties case:

Judge reserved the judgment after series of hearing.

 judgement would release in coming weeks


LONDON: 27th January, 2023.

The trial pivoted on the ownership of Mr. Altaf Hussain led MQM’s properties in north London concluded on Thursday evening in the High Court OF JUSTICE, BUSINESS AND PROPERTY COURT OF ENGLAND & WALES. Claim No: PT-2020-000680

The judge Mr. Jhon reserved the judgment after series of hearing and would release a detailed judgement in the coming weeks.

The trial opened at the end of November last year, and saw the MQM supremo Altaf Hussain come face-to-face with ex-loyalists now with MQM-Pakistan which was created by military establishment after 22nd August who are laying a claim to seven properties to the worth of 10 million pound.

The case was brought by MQM-P leader and Federal Minister Syed Aminul Haque, who had left MQM in 1992 during army operation against MQM and joined army created faction. Aminul Haq re-joined MQM in 2011 after seeking open apology.

A new constitution disassociating Mr Hussain was then created by MQM-P, which the claimants are relying on for the possession of the London properties.

At hearing on Thursday, Mr Hussain appeared at the high court where lawyers of both sides presented final arguments, recapping events and laying their claim to the properties in question after back-and-forth arguments.

Barrister Nazar Mohammad representing the claimants made his arguments first, saying that MQM-P is the true leadership of the party and therefore has a beneficial ownership to the London properties. He presented evidence and said MQM-P leaders are the ultimate successors, heavily relying on the new 2016 constitution.

Mr Hussain’s counsel Richard Slade presented his final arguments, saying that every constitution from 1984 onwards states Mr Altaf Hussain is & will remain the party’s founder leader, idealogue and higher authority.

He said both the 2015 and 2016 constitutions bound the Central Coordination Committee to seek guidance from Mr Hussain as a founder, leader and idealogue on all major issues, and said the constitutional amendments made on 31 August 2016 by now MQM-P leaders were invalid. He questioned how a founder leader can be removed from a party and its constitution without having ratification of Mr Altaf Hussain. He said that Dr Farooq Sattar hijacked the party with invalid and unlawful amendment.

Mr Hussain’s counsel Richard Slade read out, as part of evidence, a story published in Dawn on August 26, 2016, in which then adviser to the then Prime Minister Musaddiq Malik said that “MQM had to disassociate from its chief Altaf Hussain or face the consequences”. Mr Slade relied on this clip to show that the ex-loyalists changed the constitution not only out of their free will but under the pressure by “Dark force”. He further said that MQMP is not the right beneficiary of the properties.  

The two sides argued back-and-forth to assert their right over the party’s assets. MQM-P’s lawyer admitted that the email address which contained email evidence was inaccessible, and said that perhaps it was hacked.

The claimant’s lawyer responded saying that, being Pakistan’s IT minister, Mr Aminul Haque should have figured out a way to access the emails to present as evidence.

In a previous hearing, during cross examined by the counsel for claimant, the MQM chief Altaf Hussain asserted his command over the party and addressed the question of who was in control. Mr Hussain explained how he was the ultimate decision-maker, and that the party revolved around him and final say from London.

He said MQM-Pakistan was a breakaway faction, and that it was created under pressure by the state to break the MQM’s vote bank and support. Mr Hussain said that though he wasn’t involved in the smaller issues, the overall control and leadership was widely understood to rest with him.

Mr Hussain also said that after his August 2016 speech, he gave authority to Mr Farooq Sattar to manage and run the party, but that by no means meant to change the constitution, remove his name from constitution and a new party had been formed.

He reiterated that he remained the true founder, leader and decision-maker of the MQM today, despite the fact that Azeem Tariq was made chairman.

Mt Altaf Hussain defended his actions as the MQM’s supreme leader and told the court that the fact was that the MQM revolved his ultimate decisions and he called the shots, with consultations from his colleagues in the Rabita Committee – the party body that looked up to Hussain in London for the final approvals and ratifications.

Altaf Hussain told the court under cross-examination that he was the supreme leader of the party and he didn’t get involved in nitty-gritty of the party, but it was an accepted reality that the whole party worked towards his interests and vision and therefore the MQM-Pakistan was a breakaway group, made under state crackdown in order to break the main party and to side-line the London-based leader through unnatural means.

Altaf Hussain conceded that he had handed over powers to Dr Farooq Sattar after his 22nd August 2016 speech and mandated him to take decisions in the wider interests. He, under examination, said that no new party was formed after 31st August 2016 amendments but he said the following actions by Dr Farooq Sattar and others in the party were a betrayal of the way the party was run.

Altaf Hussain spoke about the killings of his workers, state actions against his workers, killings of his family members and extrajudicial torture but the judge reminded that he was looking at the party’s constitution only and the dispute over the ownership of the London assets.

Before Mr. Hussain, Central Coordination Committee members Mustafa Azizabadi, Qasim Ali Raza, Sufyan Yusuf and Iftikhar Hussain also recorded their witness statements before the court. They express their firm support Mr Hussain and said that Altaf Hussain was and is the founder leader of MQM and nobody can remove him from the party and the constitution.

After hearing both sides, the judge reserved the judgment and said the trial was adjourned and that he would release a detailed verdict and judgement in the coming weeks.

MQM founder leader Altaf Hussain’s Solicitor is Mr C. M Atif and Salman Atif of legal firm CM Atif & Co Solicitors.

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3/2/2024 2:56:13 AM