Two men tried to break into Altaf’s house: MQM-London

Published August 24, 2017
A broadcast journalist reports from outside the house of Altaf Hussain, the leader of MQM-London, in northwest London on June 3, 2014. — AFP/File
A broadcast journalist reports from outside the house of Altaf Hussain, the leader of MQM-London, in northwest London on June 3, 2014. — AFP/File

LONDON: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) in London has said that there has been an unsuccessful attempt to break into the north London house of party leader Altaf Hussain.

The party said that two individuals, one thought to be Asian in appearance and the other African, tried to break into the MQM leader’s house in middle of the night of Aug 22-23. Spotted by neighbours and guards, the suspects escaped in a white car.

In a statement, the MQM-London said that the incident could not only have been a botched break-in but also an attempt to murder or inflict physical damage on Mr Hussain. The party said that the break-in involved the two men climbing over a neighbour’s wall at 2am in the morning.

Mr Hussain’s neighbours woke up and his personal guards, deployed to protect the residence, also became aware of what was happening. Once they had been discovered, the two men managed to flee.

The party said it reported what happened to the Metropolitan Police which is now investigating the case. Police sources confirmed they received a call from Abbey View in the early hours of the morning.

The MQM has appealed to the British Prime Minister Theresa May to take stern notice of the incident and to take immediate steps both to bring the culprits to justice and to provide foolproof security for Mr Hussain.

Altaf Hussain’s house in Abbey View has been subject of police activity before. As part of its investigations into the 2010 murder of senior MQM party official, Imran Farooq, the UK police raided the party’s offices in north London and Altaf Hussain’s home. Police officers found significant amounts of cash and other documents. Those finds led to a long-running money laundering investigation that was eventually dropped in 2016.

While the investigations into Imran Farooq’s murder and the money laundering allegations are now closed, the British authorities are still considering the possibility of bringing hate crime charges against Mr Hussain. The question is whether some of his more inflammatory speeches incited violence in Pakistan. The MQM-London insists that his speeches did not do that and that any suggestion that they did so is to misinterpret what Mr Hussain said.

Published in Dawn, August 24th, 2017

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