Exiled political leader charged with treason
PAKISTANI police charged the exiled leader of a major political party with treason and inciting terrorism, as his own second-in-command vowed to disown him a day after a violent protest in Karachi.
Altaf Hussain, leader of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) which rules Pakistan’s biggest city, was accused with a dozen other party leaders of shouting anti-Pakistan slogans on Aug 22.
Security forces also sealed the party’s headquarters, a day before the city council was due to elect imprisoned MQM member Waseem Akhtar as mayor.
MQM activists clashed with police and ransacked a private television station in Karachi on August 22, leaving at least one man dead and seven others injured.
According to a police report, Mr Hussain chanted “down with Pakistan” and called the country a “bastion of terrorism”.
For more than two decades, Mr Hussain has addressed supporters from his London home telephone.
On August 23, Mr Hussain’s second-in-command Farooq Sattar, who was also briefly arrested after the violence, said the MQM “completely disowns” Mr Hussain’s statements, accusing him of repeatedly embarrassing the party. –