Wednesday, June 23

Altaf claims unable to pay bills due to financial stress

MQM founder Altaf Hussain. Photo: file

MQM founder Altaf Hussain, in his latest statement, has said that he is facing a financial stress and as a result, cannot pay his bills and expenses.

The claims from Altaf Hussain came three weeks after the London High Court’s Deputy High Court Judge Peter Knox issued freezing orders on six properties controlled by the MQM founder, following an application for the takeover of these properties by the MQM-Pakistan.

Late on Monday night, the MQM leader’s deputy Mustafa Azizabadi issued a hand-written letter by Altaf Hussain from the MQM-London’s official Twitter account, appealing for funds and claiming that his financial situation has worsened.

The judge ordered that Altaf Hussain can continue to use Abbey View house, High View Gardens first house, Whitchurch Lane first house, Brookfield Avenue house, High View Gardens second house, Whitchurch Lane second house, and the MQM’s 1st Floor Elizabeth House office till the outcome of the dispute between him and MQM-Pakistan.

However, the judge barred Altaf Hussain and his associates from selling these properties.

The letter from Hussain claimed that he has come under serious financial stress after the event of 22 August 2016 when Hussain raised slogans against the unity of Pakistan and his party effectively sacked him.

Hussain claimed that he has sold two properties since then run hte affairs of the party to “look after the families of martyrs and to pay for the costs of running MQM operations.”

He further claimed that legal cases against him in Britain “have caused huge financial strains” on his resources.

It can be confirmed that the cases against Hussain have been initiated by his former colleagues in London and from Karachi and none of these cases has anything to do with any Pakistani agency.

MQM-Pakistan’s lawyer Barrister Nazar Mohammad said he lodged a case at the London High Court on the request of MQM-Pakistan’s leader Syed Aminul Haq.

Altaf Hussain also faces a defamation claim from prominent Pakistani anchor Saleem Safi who hosts Jirga show on Geo News. Hussain had made serious accusations against Saleem Safi in a broadcast in relation to Taleban and Pakistan’s spy agencies.

Saleem Safi’s lawyer Rizwan Sulehria said he had sued Hussain on behalf of Safi over seriously defamatory and false allegations made against him. “Saleem Safi instructed me [to sue him] after Altaf Hussain made baseless [allegations] against Saleem Safi. We have engaged Altaf Hussain’s lawyers and will be issuing court proceedings soon.”

Hussain further claimed in the letter: “I have not been able to pay the council tax, gas and electricity bills and other expenditures due to financial issues. I request you to consider offering your financial support to help the movement.”

Mustafa Azizabadi further tweeted that the MQM is “in extreme financial crisis, please help the party”.

Azizabadi added he was writing “with a broken heart” that the leader who “personally distributed millions and billions amongst the party workers and got his followers to become MNAs, MPAs, Senators, ministers, advisors and mayors who became billionaires but the same leader is today asking for financial help”.

Exactly a year ago in November last year, Altaf Hussain had requested Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for help by giving asylum and financial help to him and his companions.

In a speech watched online by thousands of people, the MQM leader had said he would like to travel to India because his grandfathers are buried there.

The MQM founder had requested the Indian government: “If India’s Prime Minister Mr. Modi allows me to come to India and provides me asylum with my colleagues, I am ready to come to India along with my colleagues because my grandfather is buried there. My grandmother is buried there and thousands of my relatives are buried there in India. I want to go to India to their graves.”

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has charged Altaf Hussain and he will stand trial in about three months at the Old Bailey.

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