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Pakistan ask UK to take legal action against ethnic leader Altaf Hussain

Government sent a dossier on Hussain to U.K. authorities, with allegations of inciting violence and disturbing law and order in Pakistan.

Published: 31st August 2016 07:04 PM  |   Last Updated: 31st August 2016 07:04 PM   |  A+A-

Altaf Hussain-AP

In this Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016 file photo, Pakistani paramilitary forces remove a poster of Altaf Hussain, leader of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, or MQM, in Hyderabad, Pakistan. | AP

By AP

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's Ministry of Interior has written a formal request to London to seek legal action against an ethnic party leader, Altaf Hussain, according to a ministry statement Wednesday.

The Pakistani government sent a dossier on Hussain to U.K. authorities on Tuesday, with allegations of inciting violence and disturbing law and order in Pakistan, the statement said, adding that Hussain has violated both British and international laws.

Hussain is a British national and the founder of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, or MQM party, which has long dominated politics in the southern city of Karachi.

The secular party represents ethnic Mohajirs — those who fled to Pakistan from India during the 1947 partition. Its supporters have staged violent protests and clashed with political rivals and police in the past.

Hussain delivered an anti-government speech last week via telephone to his supporters. After the speech his supporters chanted, "Down with Pakistan."

Afterward they ransacked three television stations. One person was killed in the ensuing violence. Hussain later apologized in a statement, saying he was under mental stress during the speech.

Pakistani security forces have since arrested dozens of MQM supporters and sealed and demolished many of the party's offices.

The party leadership in Pakistan has disassociated itself from Hussain, promising that the party wouldn't be run from London anymore. Hussain has lived in a self-imposed exile in London for years.

On Wednesday, 44 MQM party leaders and employees appeared in court where a judge ordered them sent to prison pending trial, said police officer Nasir Hussain.

One of the party lawmakers Kanwar Naveed Jameel made a victory sign from a police van, shouting at the reporters that he wouldn't be associated with Hussain anymore.



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