LONDON: Many stalwarts of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) have disassociated themselves from MQM-London after remaining inactive from the party for nearly a year.
The list of those who have either left MQM-London or gone quiet is quite long but prominent amongst those are Muhammad Anwar, Imbisat Malik, Tariq Mir and Wasay Jalil who have not taken part in MQM-London’s activities for a long time now.
Matters between Altaf Hussain and some of those who have become inactive were not cordial before the fateful August 22 speech but several veterans have chosen to go underground politically.
Imbisat Malik, a Rabita Committee member, has not been seen in the MQM-London office for over a year and sources close to him have confirmed that he has left MQM. Muhammad Anwar was on and off with the MQM leadership before August 22 speech but has gone off the radar completely.
Tariq Mir occasionally visited London Secretariat but fell out with the party leadership around three months ago and hasn’t been seen since then. Wasay Jalil fell out with the London leadership and left for New York. MQM stalwart Haider Abbas has been in Canada for several months now but after August 22 speech he has completely distanced himself from the London setup and has recently emerged on the scene attempting to mediate between warring MQM factions in Pakistan.
These were the people who were seen with the MQM founder throughout five years while the MQM leader answered police bails in money-laundering investigation. All those individuals who were leading the party in Pakistan at that time usually stayed in London too and supported the London setup. It was the time when the MQM international secretariat London worked like a factory, day in day out; run by the people who had done a lot of hard work for the party to make it an effective machine.
Tariq Mir handled financialaffairs of the party for over two decades. During tough times, Tariq Javed was also in the London office. Muhammad Anwer remained Hussain’s trustworthy supporter and adviser for a long time. Wasay Jalil and Imbisat Malik remained strongly connected in Pakistan and around the world with members. These people stood by Hussain during toughest of times while he faced cases in London.
Credible sources have told The News that matters between these veterans and Hussain started becoming complicated after the entire party affairs were handed over to Nadeem Nusrat, a veteran MQM campaigner. Several people objected that Nusrat had practically dumped MQM in 2001 to settle permanently in America and that wealthy people like Khawaja Suhail Mansoor, Arshad Vohra, Baber Ghori, Rauf Siddiqui, Wasim Akhtar and Ahmed Ali have been given positions in the front row of the party. Although these differences existed but Hussain managed to keep all sides and opinions along till the suicidal speech on August 22, 2016.
The entire Pakistani leadership announced their differences with the MQM founder and they even helped get a bill of treason passed in the Sindh Assembly. Seeing the situation, leading MQM members living abroad silently parted ways with the MQM-London because for them it became impossible to defend Altaf Hussain’s remarks against Pakistan.
Imbisat Malik was arrested, charged and prosecuted during the money-laundering investigation and although his trial and conviction was about the mortgage of his house but it’s understood that Imbisat was arrested in connection with the money-laundering case of Altaf Hussain. During the police interviews, Imbisat didn’t say a word against the party leadership and how financial matters were conducted at the international secretariat. He has moved out of London with his family, cutting himself completely off the party. MQM-London’s new leadership faces are Mustafa Azizabadi, Nadeem Ehsan, Qasim Ali Raza, Saleem Danish and Sufyan Yousuf.