LONDON: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement has approached the British government, fiercely contesting that its leader Altaf Hussain had threatened the Teen Talwar protesters belonging to Imran Khan’s party in Karachi with violence during a live speech soon after the May 11 elections.
The News has seen a copy of the letter from the former deputy convener of the MQM Dr Farooq Sattar to the British government, which disputes that Imran Khan’s allegation that “Altaf Hussain was directly responsible for the murder of Ms Zahra Shahid Hussain”.
Sattar explains in the letter that Altaf Hussain had not threatened anyone and made it clear that he doesn’t want to fight anyone. Sattar has translated Hussain’s Urdu words “may laraee jhegra nahee chahta werna tau may apnay satheeon ko kehoon tau wo teen telwar phohonch ker telwaroon ko asel shakel day dain gey” in English as “I do not want to quarrel or fight with anyone otherwise I would only have to order my associates that they reach Teen Talwar (Three swords monument in Clifton) and make them real”.
Sattar explains in the letter: “The above quoted words of Mr Hussain very clearly indicate his intentions that he doesn’t want to fight anyone and the phraseology that swords of monument could be converted into real swords would have carried any real meaning and threat only if Mr Hussain had failed to clarify that he doesn’t believe in physical fight.”
The MQM, according to sources, had distributed a CD in his voice bite to several parliamentarians and all important government departments. Sattar blamed the media in his letter for allegedly misquoting Altaf Hussain’s words but said that later when their attention was drawn to this aspect, all media channels corrected their reporting.
Sattar goes on: “We have also advised the media and the opposition to desist from the politics of vendetta and politicking as the country can no longer afford continuing bickering and politics of victimisation.”
He said that in the same speech Altaf Hussain had “reiterated his stance against terrorism” and “made it clear that the MQM is opposed to all forms and manifestations of violence and terrorism”.
Sattar signed off his letter by stating that the purpose of the clarification was to remove “any misgivings and misconceptions being spread at different levels, particularly through social media”.
The letter to the government has been forwarded by, among others, Lord Eric Avebury, who told The News that Pakistan didn’t afford fights such as the one between the MQM and Imran Khan. He said that Imran Khan was clearly expecting better results nationally and said that his allegations against the MQM may be “unsupported libel”.
He added: “Nevertheless we should press for this murder (Zahra Shahid Hussain’s) to be vigorously investigated, to avoid suspicion hanging in the air and further poisoning the relations between the MQM and the PTI.”
The MQM Rabita Committee member Muhammad Anwar confirmed that his party had approached the government and the parliamentarians with its explanation. “Imran Khan needs to come up with substantive evidence. He should not make baseless allegations and try to mislead the comity of nations.”