LONDON: The former Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Convener and it’s founder Altaf Hussain’s once chief lieutenant Nadeem Nusrat has said the breakaway MQM-Pakistan leadership should never have brought case of seven properties against the party founder at the London High Court.
Speaking to Geo News after giving his witness statement at the Properties and Business Division of the High Court before Insolvency and Companies Court (ICC) Judge Mr Clive Jones, the former MQM Convener said MQM’s founder and the MQM groups should have resolved this matter out of the court despite having differences.
“Both are spending half a million each to fight this case. This money should go to the deserving families of the MQM,” he said. Nadeem Nusrat’s entry in the case supports the case of MQM-Pakistan. Nadeem Nusrat said he had joined the trial reluctantly after MQM-London mentioned him in the case and left him with no choice. He was cross-examined by Altaf Hussain’s lawyer Richard Slade KC for over three hours.
Nadeem Nusrat told said that regardless of the outcome of the trial, he didn’t believe that the MQM-Pakistan leadership will honestly deal with the proceeds of seven London properties if at all sold in benefit of the MQM-Pakistan.
He said the London properties should neither go to the London faction or the breakaway Pakistan party, whose leader and Federal Minister Syed Aminul Haque has brought the claim against Altaf Hussain. Nadeem Nusrat questioned why Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui was nowhere in the claim and in the case after having encouraged Syed Aminul Haque to start the case against Altaf Hussain.
Nadeem Nusrat has called on Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and others to vacate the MQM properties they were using for personal use. Earlier the court heard from Nadeem Nusrat that he had actually declared in September 2016 that MQM was nothing without Altaf Hussain and that Altaf Hussain embodied the MQM – a month after the MQM-Pakistan’s leader Doctor Farooq Sattar had expelled Altaf Hussain from the party after 22nd August 2016’s controversial speech.
The Voice of Karachi leader, who is now based in the USA after separating ways with Altaf Hussain on very bitter terms, appeared as a witness on the third day of trial for the control of seven London properties that the MQM-Pakistan wants to gain from Altaf Hussain through a court decision. The two sides are fighting over the constitutional legitimacy. Both are laying claim on separate constitutions: MQM-Pakistan on 2016’s constitution and MQM-London on 2015 constitution.
Nadeem Nusrat said that the MQM was run by no constitution but by the “whims and wishes” of the MQM founder. Richard Slade KC put tough questions to Nadeem Nusrat when he said that the MQM started changing from an ideological party into a cult after 1997 when it started winning elections and Altaf Hussain became powerful and unaccountable.
He said the MQM founder suspended the Rabita Committee hundreds of times as the RC didn’t have any powers before Altaf Hussain. When asked why he had supported Altaf Hussain and his party till 2017 – for over three decades – and defended Altaf Hussain and opposed actions of Farooq Sattar following the 22nd August speech, Nadeem Nusrat claimed that he did so due to security reasons and didn’t have the means and courage to stand up to Altaf Hussain.
He referred to the killing of Dr Imran Farooq in London in 2010. “Azam Tariq was killed too. I feared for my life. When Altaf Hussain became upset with me in London I was ordered to leave my residence.
My home was ransacked. When I came back to the party in 2012 there was intimidation and violence. I was threatened in the USA over and over, I had to look over my shoulder every single day after I left Altaf Hussain for good and moved to the USA in 2017,” said Nadeem Nusrat.
During cross examination by the King’s Counsel, Nadeem Nusrat said he wholly supported the position of Altaf Hussain after 22nd August 2016 speech in order to “salvage” the party.
Nadeem Nusrat, who was Sattar’s counterpart at that time, differed with the statement given by Farooq Sattar against Altaf Hussain and agreed that Farooq Sattar didn’t discuss with him the removal of Altaf Hussain from the party position. He said it was true that Altaf Hussain was to take a break from the party affairs and the party was going to be run from Karachi but that didn’t mean that Altaf Hussain had resigned completely from the party affairs.
When Nadeem Nusrat said that he thought soon after 22nd August 2016 speech that it was impossible for Altaf Hussain to make a comeback, Altaf’s lawyer ran him through those statements in which he had stood by Altaf but Nusrat said those were political statements by him and his belief was genuine.
“I made those comments to please Altaf Hussain. We were moving in circles. It was the right decision by MQM-Pakistan to separate ways from Altaf Hussain.” When asked about his removal as Convener of the party by MQM-Pakistan, Nusrat said he was content with that decision and knew it will happen.
Federal Minister of Communications and MQM-Pakistan’s leader Syed Aminul Haque has brought the case against Altaf Hussain to gain control of the following seven properties: Abbey View in Mill Hill where Altaf Hussain resides; 1 High View Gardens in Edgware which is on rent; 5 High View Gardens in Edgware; 185 Whitchurch Lane in Edgware; 221 Whitchurch Lane in Edgware; 53 Brookfield Avenue in Mill Hill and 1st Floor Elizabeth House in Edgware which used to be the MQM’s International Secretariat.
The MQM-Pakistan has asked the UK High Court to give control of these properties to MQM-Pakistan as Altaf Hussain is no longer eligible to control these trust properties after the MQM was taken over by the Pakistan chapter of the MQM. The trial continues. Richard Slade KC is representing Altaf Hussain and Nazar Mohammad KC is representing MQM-Pakistan.
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