Karachi

MQM chief posters taken down in Karachi mysteriously

AYESHA MANZIL

KARACHI: Call it a minus-Altaf wave or the aftershocks of what happened on Monday, who would have imagined in Karachi that MQM chief’s torn posters would be lying on the streets in MQM’s hub including the famed Nine Zero, Jinnah Ground and Mukka Chowk.

To everyone’s surprise, Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain’s posters were removed overnight from party stronghold in Karachi, ARY News reported.

Images and footage showed posters of MQM’s recently sidelined chief scattered around the Mukka Chowk in Azizabad – the headquarter of MQM in Karachi.

According to reports that ARY News received on Thursday, towering posters and banners of the almost sacred Muttahida chief were taken down from almost major points and areas of the port city during the night. However, who actually did it! No one knows.

Residents of Federal B. Area, North Nazimabad, North Karachi and those living around Nine Zero, Jinnah Ground and Mukka Chowk were surprised to see all the main points of their localities devoid of Hussain’s posters and banners, emblazoned for years.

The situation is similar in Hyderabad, MQM’s chief posters and banners were too taken down from Latifabad area.

 

What happened on Monday and later?

For over almost two decades, MQM chief addressed his party in Pakistan through a loudspeaker linked to his London home telephone.

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It all started when violence flared on the roads of Karachi on Monday after Hussain, who has taken a refuge in Edgware, London for more than 20 years, addressed supporters in the city via another telephone call, made worrying anti-Pakistan statements and ordered them to attack media houses including ARY News for allegedly not giving due coverage of his workers.

That very speech later led to a political chaos in Karachi that went absolutely against his own party for the first time in history.

MQM workers clashed with police and ransacked ARY News Karachi bureau leaving one person dead and several others injured.

Later on Tuesday, Hussain’s second-in-command Farooq Sattar, who was also briefly arrested on Monday “completely disowned” Hussain’s statements on behalf of MQM.

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Hussain also apologised for his remarks on Tuesday, blaming “mental stress”. MQM’s Jalil constantly sought to play down rumours of a split within the party, a senior party member Dr Farooq Sattar distanced MQM from Hussain’s comments, saying the party should now be run “from Pakistan alone”.

MQM headquarters Nine Zero, along with several sectors and unit offices in the metropolis and elsewhere in Sindh were sealed on Thursday. Several treason cases were filed against Hussain and MQM senior leadership.

It would not be wrong to say that Hussain’s speech on Monday failed to gain results. Top aides of his party disowned him, including Dr Farooq Sattar, Khawaja Izharul Hassan, Nasreen Jalil and Dr Amir Liaquat Hussain.

Pak Sarzameen Chief Mustafa Kamal accused MQM chief on Thursday of allegedly making a new speech in the United States via telephone call, in which he used strong comments and harsh language against Pakistan, its existence and armed forces.

 

Scotland Yard investigating Karachi incident

Scotland Yard said it was investigating whether the Muttahida Qaumi Movement leader incited violence in Karachi when he addressed party workers and supporters from his north-London base on Monday.

The police are examining Hussain’s speech following “numerous calls from the public” to see if his remarks broke any English laws, a Scotland Yard spokeswoman told the Guardian.

The Metropolitan police have been probing many old speeches made by Hussain, who holds joint British-Pakistani citizenship, one of the three separate cases by the force into Hussain and other MQM members.

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