Altaf asks Modi for asylum in India

Updated November 21, 2019

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London-based Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) founder Altaf Hussain has asked Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to grant political asylum to him and his associates.  — photo courtesy mqm.org/File
London-based Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) founder Altaf Hussain has asked Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to grant political asylum to him and his associates. — photo courtesy mqm.org/File

KARACHI: London-based Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) founder Altaf Hussain has asked Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to grant political asylum to him and his associates.

He made the request during a speech aired on social media from his London abode earlier this month.

“If India and Prime Minister Modi allow me to come to India and provide me asylum with my colleagues, I am ready to come to India along with my colleagues because my grandfather is buried there ... my grandmother is buried there ... my thousands of relatives are buried in India. I want to go to their graves and want to pray,” he said in the video message broadcast on social media on Nov 9.

Mr Hussain, a British citizen who has been living in the United Kingdom for the past 27 years, is currently on bail in a case pertaining to incitement of violence. He was arrested twice in the UK, first in connection with a money laundering investigation and then in the present case.

His party, now called MQM-London, is facing a ban since Aug 22, 2016 when Mr Hussain made an incendiary speech. The MQM here, now known as MQM-Pakistan, parted ways with him after the controversial speech.

“[If granted asylum] I will not interfere in any politics, I promise,” assured Mr Hussain to the Indian government in his speech.

Published in Dawn, November 21st, 2019