Exiled Pakistan politician in UK summoned for questioning by British police

LONDON: Pakistani leader and Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM founder Altaf Hussain, who is living in exile in the UK, on Thursday appeared before a police station in London after he was summoned for questioning in an ongoing probe related to his alleged hate speeches relayed to followers in Pakistan.

“Hussain was interviewed for a short period, and has returned home.

“MQM believes in the rule of law and has total confidence in the British legal system,” a statement on behalf of the MQM leader said.

He was arrested earlier this year by the Scotland Yard under suspicion of intentionally encouraging or assisting offences contrary to Section 44 of the UK’s Serious Crime Act 2007.

“The investigation, which is being led by officers from the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, is focused on a speech broadcast in August 2016 by an individual associated with the MQM movement in Pakistan as well as other speeches previously broadcast by the same person,” a Metropolitan Police statement said at the time.

Hussain was detained under the UK’s Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE and taken to a south London police station, where he was bailed.

The Met Police said that throughout the investigation, officers had been liaising with Pakistani authorities in relation to their ongoing enquiries.

MQM was founded in 1984 as the party of Muhajirs or Urdu-speakers who migrated from India at the time of Partition in 1947.

Hussain’s UK media office, calling itself the MQM Secretariat, issues regular communique against the Pakistani government.