MQM’s Amir Khan distances party from newly-surfaced controversial Altaf speech
KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Amir Khan on Wednesday night distanced the party from statements allegedly made by party chief Altaf Hussain who was addressing workers in the United States.
A day after party leadership in Karachi distanced itself from Hussain’s earlier anti-Pakistan comments and decided to strip him of organizational powers for an indefinite period, the MQM chief allegedly urged US party workers to seek help from Israel, India, Iran and Afghanistan.
In the newly-surfaced audio clip, Hussain allegedly said, “If the US and Israel help, I will go myself to fight Daesh, Al Qaeda, Taliban and the Inter-Services Intelligence and Pakistan Army who created them.”
The MQM supreme while addressing “Hindus” allegedly said, “We could not recognise the British conspiracy [to divide the subcontinent] and we became part of it.”
Speaking to journalists at the Karachi Press Club, MQM’s Amir Khan denied that the MQM had anything to do with the recently surfaced speech.
Khan was also quizzed by journalists about these statements at the Karachi Municipal Corporation building where mayoral polls were underway earlier on Wednesday, but he did not shed any light on the matter then.
Flanked by Coordination Committee Deputy Convener Dr Farooq Sattar, Khan said, “Like Farooq Sattar had disassociated the party from Altaf Hussain’s earlier speech in our press conference yesterday (Tuesday), we, the Pakistan Rabita Committee, disassociate ourselves from this recent speech.”
Khan claimed that the audio clip carries parts of a speech made by Altaf Hussain before the MQM Coordination Committee announced that the party’s leadership in Pakistan would solely run the show with full authority.
Sections of the media alleged that MQM workers had carried out an attack on the ARY News office in Karachi’s Saddar area on Monday after receiving directives in a speech by MQM Chief Altaf Hussain. One person was killed and several others injured as police clashed with the angry mob.
Farooq Sattar, Leader of the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly Khawaja Izharul Hassan and Dr Amir Liaquat were taken into custody by the Rangers and released after overnight detention.
The Rangers raided MQM headquarters Nine Zero Monday night after the protests, taking nine other party leaders into custody and sealing MQM offices. The paramilitary force also recovered weapons from Nine Zero, which will be sent for forensic tests.
The MQM supremo later apologised to the military for his ‘anti-Pakistan’ remarks and, in a statement released by MQM Spokesman Wasay Jalil on Tuesday, announced he would be handing over party affairs to the Coordination Committee in Pakistan.
Hussain has been running the day-to-day organisational affairs of the party over phone from the confines of his palatial London residence and the international secretariat for a long time, although he does not hold any office in the MQM, which is a political party registered with the Election Commission of Pakistan in the name of Dr Farooq Sattar.
It is worth remembering that it is not the first time that Hussain has been practically sidelined by the Pakistan-based MQM leadership.
In Dec 1992, Hussain announced retirement from politics in favour of then MQM chairman Azeem Ahmed Tariq. However, about three months later, he became active again, formed a coordination committee and appointed the late Ishtiaq Azhar its convener.
The Nine-Zero headquarters were opened again by Azhar and later on Tariq was assassinated in his Federal B Area home on May 1, 1993.
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