More offices of the MQM party were sealed by police in Karachi city after its chief Altaf Hussain’s anti-Pakistan remarks led to violence in the Pakistani business capital.
The offices of Muttahida Qaumi Movement party were sealed on Wednesday night. Its headquarters “Nine Zero” were locked shortly after Hussain on Monday called Pakistan a “cancer” to the entire world, Geo News reported.
The police on Wednesday also arrested two women who were involved in the August 22 attack on ARY News offices.
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The MQM workers who were protesting outside the Karachi Press Club against “enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings of workers”, on Monday ransacked two television stations in a rampage that left one person dead and eight injured.
Hussain, by appearing to incite his followers to attack the media for not covering his speeches, triggered an unprecedented challenge to his control over the party that has dominated the politics and commerce of Karachi for decades.
He had made controversial statements while addressing the party activists here over telephone from London — the usual way he keeps contact.
Hussain said: “Pakistan is cancer for entire world. Pakistan is headache for the entire world.
“Pakistan is the epicentre of terrorism for the entire world. Who says long live Pakistan… It’s down with Pakistan.”
The remarks led to violence across the country with people calling Hussain an Indian spy who was out to destabilise Pakistan.
MQM Pakistan has distanced itself from the controversial statements with Deputy Convenor Farooq Sattar taking control of the party leadership.
Sattar said future decisions would be made by the MQM Rabita Committee in Pakistan, and Hussain on Wednesday handed over the party powers to the committee.
Pakistan has also asked the British government to take action against Hussain for inciting violence in the port city.
Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan said Pakistan “hopes and expects” British authorities to bring Hussain to justice because “he is their citizen and used their soil for inciting violence in Pakistan”.
Also on Wednesday, jailed MQM leader Waseem Akhtar was elected as Karachi’s new mayor by a big margin with his party sweeping the local municipal elections.
Akhtar, who was arrested on July 19 for sheltering and providing medical treatment to militants, will run the city with the help of “video links” from prison.
The MQM is a political party registered with the Election Commission of Pakistan in the name of Farooq Sattar and established by Hussain in 1984.
The party has long dominated the city through the loyal support of Karachi’s Muhajir community — relatively well-off Urdu speakers who migrated from India after Independence in 1947, and their descendants.