LAHORE – On a day the NAB arrested PML-N leader Hamza Shehbaz in Lahore, MQM founder Altaf Hussain was arrested by counter-terrorism detectives in London.
His arrest, on the basis of hate speeches he has been making from the British capital, is being described as a big success of the Pakistan government which has long been seeking action against him.
According to reports, Altaf Hussain, 65, and a British citizen, was taken to a south London police station where he was being questioned in custody.
In his speeches he allegedly urged his followers in Sindh, especially Karachi, to take the law into their own hands. He created law and order situation through his provocative speeches. He is also involved in various crimes in Pakistan.
A court had banned the telecast or publication of his speeches. It was after that order that Altaf Hussain found no space in the Pakistani media.
Scotland Yard said police were focusing on a speech broadcast in August 2016. Hours after the speech was delivered party workers attacked offices in Karachi.
A spokesman said officers were also searching an address in north-west London as part of the inquiry. He added: “Throughout the investigation, officers have been liaising with Pakistani authorities in relation to our ongoing enquiries.”
Altaf had sought refuge in the UK after going into exile in 1992.
The police did not name Mr Hussain, but referred instead to “an individual associated with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement in Pakistan”. He was arrested at an “address in north-west London… on suspicion of intentionally encouraging or assisting offences contrary to Section 44 of the Serious Crime Act 2007”. The man remains in custody.
Two premises are being searched, in an investigation led by the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command.
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