LONDON: MQM leader Altaf Hussain on Monday faced former party loyalists in a UK high court over a property case.

The case has been brought by MQM-P leader and Federal Minister Syed Aminul Haque, former convener of the Altaf-led MQM Nadeem Nusrat and ex-confidante Tariq Mir. The case centres around seven north London properties to the tune of £10 million pounds which the ex-loyalists seek to claim.

According to the case file, Aminul Haque, the claimant, said that it’s the MQM-P whose “members are the beneficiary of bare trusts and/or resulting constructive trusts” — the structures that control the seven properties and all the benefit derived from the rental income or sale proceeds should have gone to MQM-P to benefit the “poor and needy people”.

The MQM-P maintains that this clause of the trust has been violated. The claimant, on behalf of MQM-P, said that he is seeking for himself and the MQM-P the removal of the trustees under the UK Trustees Act 1925 “for failing to act faithfully and for the benefit of the beneficiaries and or the trusts at all material times”.

In case Altaf loses this battle, it is believed that he will be left with nothing. In the event that the claimants are unsuccessful, they will have to bear the costs and legal fees of the defendant.

Altaf denies misappropriation and maintains that the properties were purchased with the use of funds given by ordinary MQM workers and donors.

“I have complete faith in my legal team, they are very competent,” Altaf told reporters outside the court on Monday.

He alleged that the case is a result of malafide intent and weak integrity from the claimants.

Both Altaf and Nusrat were seen going to court to record their evidence in the case.

Speaking outside the court, Nadeem Nusrat said he was not a part of the case until four weeks ago. “I was informed by solicitors that my name was linked to this case, and I felt it was a very serious matter. “I came here and recorded my statement and said I was dragged into this. My position is that these properties don’t belong to either MQM-London or MQM-Pakistan, but to the workers of MQM.”

Published in Dawn, November 29th, 2022

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