KARACHI – Pleading the innocence of his boss, spokesman for the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) held on Thursday that Altaf Hussain never took a single penny from the Inter-Services Intelligence, any government agency or an individual.

“There is no truth in such accusations being piled on Mr Altaf Hussain. These are just meant to smear his image in the public,” asserted the spokesman, saying his party leadership was ready to defend itself at any forum.

He, however, revealed that the MQM chief was repeatedly approached by certain government agencies to buy his conscience. “In 1988, Brigadier Imtiaz of the ISI brought money from General Hamid Gull but Mr Altaf Hussain refused to take it. (In a candid confession) some time back, Imtiaz himself admitted this on the media,” the spokesman said while adding, “Likewise, in 1990, Brigadier Hamid brought money to Mr Altaf Hussain from General Mirza Aslam Baig. But he refused again.”

“Submitted to the Supreme Court by the then chief of the ISI General Assad Durrani, an affidavit, containing names of the politicians, who accepted money from the ISI, is a testimony to the fact that Altaf Hussain did not accept any money. His name was not on the list.”

The spokesman further said the allegation by a former head of the Mehran Bank that the MQM chief accepted money through one Yousuf advocate, was an utter lie. “The MQM condemns it in the strongest possible terms,” he said and added the only crime of Altaf Hussain was that he spurned all the attempts government agencies and their proxies made to take his conscience.