KARACHI - Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) lambasted BBC’s latest documentary after the MQM chief Altaf Hussain said in a statement that a “new web of conspiracies” was being hatched to implicate him in false cases.
The BBC said UK Police has sought Pakistan’s help in tracing out two suspects believed to be involved in the murder of MQM senior leader Imran Farooq while the metropolitan police have sealed several bank accounts of MQM for not paying taxes.
BBC Newsnight in its investigative report said there is also a substantial UK investigation into possible money laundering. Two men were arrested in December and have been bailed. In December 2012, UK police seized £250,000 in mixed currencies at MQM party headquarters. In June 2013 they seized another £230,000 from Altaf Hussain’s home, BBC said.
Addressing a press conference on Thursday MQM deputy convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui along with MQM parliamentary leader in national assembly Senator Farooq Naseem termed the documentary a ‘media trial’ of the party and its chief Altaf Hussain.
Siddiqui said that it was not the first time MQM was being tried in the media and false accusations and speculations were being given air against their party. In a gross exaggeration, he claimed the MQM “represents 98 percent of the middle class community of the country”.
The deputy convener said the BBC`s documentary raises questions against MQM but the party “hasn’t even been contacted”. MQM Senator Farogh Naseem was interviewed, he admitted, but said all his clarifications were rejected.
Earlier in the day, MQM chief Altaf Hussain in a statement addressed MQM cadres and sympathisers, telling them that attempts had always been made to bring him and MQM into disrepute by levelling false allegations and now a new “web of conspiracy was being woven” around him.
Asking them to take serious notice of his statement, he said, “I want to inform the entire nation that I have never bowed down to forces of evil. I suffered imprisonments and saw death from very near but I continued my mission... I want to tell my sympathisers that baseless allegations are being levelled to implicate me in false cases. I will never bow down my head before any international forces.”
MQM chief’s statement came a day after the BBC reported that British prosecutors have asked Pakistan to trace two suspects which they believed to have been involved in the murder of MQM former Deputy Convener Dr Imran Farooq on Sept 16, 2010.
MQM leader Imran Farooq was stabbed outside his home in Edgware, London, close to MQM’s London Headquarter on Sept 16, 2010. According to the BBC report, UK prosecutors have reportedly asked Pakistan to trace two suspects believed to have been involved in the murder. The suspects belonging to Karachi – Moshin Ali Syed and Muhammad Kashif Khan Kamran – had boarded a plane to Sri Lanka from London’s Heathrow airport on the same day Imran Farooq was killed.
MQM leader Khalid Siddiqui in the press conference said if Moshin and Kashif were actual culprits, why British government and Metropolitan police did not arrest them and when Pakistan’s police was denying the presence of two culprits in custody, how can BBC claim that they were in Pakistan. MQM do not have an affiliation with the two accused, he added.
He said that the British government that represent itself as a champion of the human rights has been violating them and British Police has been harassing MQM chief and his daughter Afza Altaf. British police even confiscated the personal collection of coins by Altaf and his daughter during the raid at their house in North London while Afza’s laptop is in the custody of police for last eight months, he added.
MQM leader Dr Farooq Sattar said that BBC’s documentary was based on ill intentions. “MQM respects media freedom but rejects and condemns the ongoing media trial of MQM and Altaf Hussain. Do not forget that MQM chief has not yet been indicted in any case and has been only consulted by the police in ongoing investigations.” he added. Without mentioning the name of Lord Nazir, Sattar said we believe that British media is being used to keep MQM’s opponents happy and probably it was an action by design to influence the British courts.
Meanwhile, sources said that MQM had decided to launch international protest drive that includes the demonstrations outside the United Nations offices. All the international party offices have been directed to finalise their arrangements in this regard while some senior party workers have threatened to commit suicide if the propaganda against the party chief would not stop.
According to BBC, Imran murder suspects were arrested from of Karachi international airport on their arrival from Sri Lanka and remained in informal Pakistan custody. The visa forms of the two suspects were verified by a businessman named Moazzam Ali Khan, who allegedly had remained in contact during 2010 with Iftikhar Husain, a relative of MQM chief and a British citizen of Pakistani origin, who was arrested by London police in 2013 on suspicion of conspiracy to murder, but is now on police bail.
It is an arrest the party says was based on wrong information. MQM senator Farogh Naseem described Iftikhar as “not a person who is really with himself mentally”. He said Iftikhar Hussain had suffered at the hands of the Pakistani authorities. He also said that MQM chief was not an accused but BBC presented him as an accused in its documentary.