Altaf Hussain Charged With Terrorism In UK
The founder of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Altaf Hussain, was charged under a terrorism act in the United Kingdom over allegedly inciting his followers to violence.
According to a report in Express Tribune, Scotland Yard issued a statement that the Counter Terrorism Command had charged Altaf Hussain with a terrorism offence in relation to a speech made in August 2016.
The Scotland Yard in the statement said that in August 2016, Altaf Hussain made a speech to crowds in Pakistan which was likely to be understood by the listeners as a direct or indirect encouragement for them to the commit, prepare or instigate acts of terrorism.
According to the statement, Altaf Hussain was charged under section 1(2) of the Terrorism Act (TACT) 2006, with his offences violating Section 44 of the Serious Crime Act 2007.
The MQM founder was produced before the chief magistrate at Westminster Court, District Judge Emma Arbuthnot, where he pleaded not guilty.
Altaf Hussain was given conditional bail after his lawyer requested the court that he was unwell.
The conditions imposed on the MQM founder include a night curfew, and a restriction on making speeches to media or using social media.
Moreover, he is also barred from applying for a travel permit while his passport would be in custody of law enforcement.
Altaf Hussain had made a speech to his followers at Karachi Press Club in August 2016, wherein he allegedly urged them to take the law into their own hands. He also made threats to the then director general of Pakistan Rangers, Sindh, Major General Bilal Akbar.
MQM activists had rioted following the speech, attacking a private television station and clashing with police.
Several senior leaders of MQM were arrested following the incident while the MQM headquarters at Nine-Zero were sealed.