KARACHI: In a rare show of activism, scores of workers and sympathisers of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-London staged a rally in Federal B Area on Saturday to celebrate the acquittal of party founder Altaf Hussain by a United Kingdom court.

Riding motorbikes and cars, the workers, including women, emerged on main Shahrah-i-Pakistan in the evening. They were carrying posters and banners and shouting slogans in favour of their London-based leader.

Dozens of workers marched on main road near Ayesha Manzil in the form of a rally that stopped at one point where they chanted loud slogans to express their sentiments. However, they stayed away from Mukka Chowk, “Yadgar-i-Shuhda” in Jinnah Ground or Mr Hussain’s house, popularly known as Nine Zero, in Azizabad, where a significant deployment of law enforcers was already made.

Unlike past, the fresh activity from the Mr Hussain’s loyalists apparently faced no resistance from police and paramilitary Rangers as they managed to conclude their peaceful and brief event minutes before the sunset.

It all began on Friday when messages started circulating over social media from “Wafa Parast” who appealed to the people of Karachi to join celebrations at Mukka Chowk in Azizabad to express solidarity with the London-based leadership.

Similar events had also been held in some cities and towns in interior Sindh.

On Feb 15, a UK court acquitted the MQM founder after a 12-member jury found Mr Hussain not guilty on two counts of encouraging terrorism, contrary to Section 1(2) of the UK’s Terrorism Act 2006.

Published in Dawn, February 20th, 2022

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