KARACHI: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement's (MQM) central coordination committee members and Sindh Assembly lawmakers on Tuesday wrote to British Prime Minister David Cameron informing him about the threats received by the party from the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and requested that the British government provide maximum security to their party chief Altaf Hussain.
A press statement on the party's website said MQM had been against all sorts of religious extremism and that its chief, Hussain, had raised his voice against extremism and Talibanisation on various fora.
The MQM chief's vocal opposition to the ideology of the Taliban has turned the militant outfit against Hussain and the party, the statement added.
It further said that MQM was a liberal party and such threats were becoming a cause of serious concern for its supporters.
The statement added that leaders of the MQM had received extortion letters from the TTP recently, adding that this had caused alarm among the party's supporters.
Pakistan’s commercial hub Karachi is considered a political stronghold of MQM, which draws its majority support from the Urdu-speaking population of the port city.
The party has for years claimed that the Taliban and other militants have increased their foothold in Karachi, with their leader Farooq Sattar saying earlier this year that the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) controls up to 25 per cent of the city.
The party has been a target of several attacks by the militants in the past, with at least three of its leaders killed as a result of targeted attacks.
The MQM chief had also been a vocal opponent of peace talks with the Taliban.