Why is Altaf Hussain not tried in UK?

MQM flag

When Quaid-e-Tatheer Pir Altaf Hussain Bhai made threatening speeches covered here, quite a lot of people wanted to know if he could be tried under UK law. Someone sent me the following laws under which he could be tried in UK for his hate and murder inciting speeches.

Section 18(1) Public Order Act, 1986 – using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent to stir up racial hatred.

Section 23 Public Order Act, 1986 – threatening, abusive or insulting recordings of sound, with intent to stir up racial hatred.

Section 59 The Terrorism Act, 2000 – Inciting Terrorism Overseas.

Section 1 The Terrorism Act, 2006 – Encouragement of Terrorism.

Section 4 Offences Against the Person Act, 1860 – whosoever shall solicit, encourage, persuade, or endeavour to persuade, or shall propose to any person, to murder any other person, whether he be a subject of Her Majesty or not, and whether he be within the Queen’s dominions or not, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and being convicted thereof shall be liable imprisonment for life.

So I asked my friend who is a solicitor in UK whether its just a viral email or are there really such laws in UK under which QeT Altaf Bhai can be tried. He had this to say

Section 18, 19, 21 and 22 can apply, although it is (weakly) arguable that his comments did not have a raci

Karachi by day, on the road

element to them and were directed to political opponents. Section 23 actually relates to possessing racially inflammatory material and is probably not relevant here (unless he possesses records of his speech). The problem is that Altaf did qualify his statements immediately after he made them and said that he was not threatening anyone and so it is necessary to look at the overall speech in context, rather than just selecting a few choice threatening statements. I haven’t heard it because I have a life.

The problem is that Altaf Hussain has been groomed by western governments due to the ridiculous amount of leverage he has over Karachi. Through him the British can shut off our only real port and that is an incredible advantage for one nation to have over another nation. They would be mad to give it up.

So unless Altaf Hussain really fucks something up against British interest, it is safe to assume that he will remain unharmed in UK.

UPDATE

The recent article published in Guardian also makes the same claim that British give Altaf Hussain protection because he is of help to them:

Altaf Hussain, the notorious MQM leader who swapped Pakistan for London

British interest in the MQM is largely driven by the perception that the party offers a defence against jihadis. But there is more to it than that. The MQM is British turf: Karachi is one of the few places left on earth in which the Americans let Britain take the lead. The US consulate in Karachi no longer runs active intelligence gathering operations in the city. The British still do. When it comes to claiming a place at the top table of international security politics – London’s relationship with the MQM is a remaining toehold.

And there’s something else. The FCO’s most important currency is influence. Successive Pakistani governments, when they are not demanding Hussain’s extradition, have included his parliamentary bloc in various coalition governments. From the FCO’s point of view, it’s a great source of access. Right on their doorstep, in London, they have a man with ministers in the Pakistani government.

For its part the UK government insists there is nothing unusual about its contacts with MQM and that its meetings with MQM officials are: “a normal part of diplomatic activity around the world”. I spoke to a British official recently about the MQM and asked why the UK government, so keen to declare its commitment to human rights, seemed so willing to deal with the party despite officials privately saying that it uses violence to achieve its goals. She said: “There is one thing I can assure you of – it’s not a conspiracy.” Which in a sense is true. It’s not a conspiracy. It’s just policy.

Altaf Hussain and Titanic

Cover of "Titanic (Three-Disc Special Col...

Quaid-e-Tatheer Pir Altaf Hussain Bhai has been known to have absurd outbursts all the time that become butt of jokes amongst his opponents (collected here). However, these statements later force his lieutenants to come up with equally, if not more, absurd arguments trying to justify them.

Most recent example is Quaid-e-Tatheer’s statement that “Titanic of Muslim Ummah is sinking.” It left people scratching their heads to understand the explicit or implicit meaning underlying the statement. In comes Mustafa Azizabadi, Member of Central Coordination Committee (Rabita Committee) of MQM and Incharge of MQM International Secretariat London, and tries to give meaning to it in his tweet:

I don’t know what Quaid-e-Tatheer Altaf Hussain Bhai had in mind when it comes to Titanic but personally only thing I am reminded of is that famous (or infamous) scene where Leonardo Di Caprio does a portrait of Kate Winslet.

Close-up shot of Cameron's nude Rose sketch wi...

On a serious note, I think Mustafa Azizabadi is either the speech writer of Altaf Hussain or may be he has invested in Titanic franchise in Pakistan.

UPDATE

Later MQM Member Rabita Committee and Incharge Central Information Committee MQM Wasay Jalil also tried to come to rescue of Altaf Hussain

 

Altaf Hussain : Leader with a foresight – Picture from Archives

Every human has vices. A leader more so or at least his vices are scrutinized by public eyes. Some like to drink too much (will not name them here), some like to sleep around (will not name him here either) and some like to get married again and again (will not name that hair-transplanted baldy about to become CM for third time).

But a real leader, to use the trendy self-help jargon, “channels” his vice urge into something positive or let’s say something harmless.

Here is where Quaid-e-Tehreek Pir Altaf Hussain Bhai comes in. Bhai just loves his telephone or rather is addicted to it. That is his only vice if you can call it that.

In these days of Skype where doing a video conference is literally as easy as dialing a number, Bhai likes to remain true to his roots, feet firmly planted in the ground, and give sermons via telephone. He is “The Voice”. He can move crowds into frenzy and into action with just his voice.

Those asking for his return should understand that if he can achieve this via long distance telephone call despite static noise in the line, how much power he can wield with his mere presence amongst his people. Be careful what you wish for.

اڑ بیٹھے کیا سمجھ کے بھلا طور پر کلیم
طاقت ہو دید کی تو تقاضا کرے کوئی

As alway Quaid-e-Tehreek Pir Altaf Hussain Bhai has been a trailblazer. It is edgy nowadays to take your own picture via a mirror with your cellphone or DSLR. QeT Bhai was decades ahead of this trend by having a professional photographer at the ready whenever he was on the phone.

Using your digital phones continuously or typing with one hand continuously can lead to RSI (If you don’t know what that is, you can’t even begin to fathom the foresightedness of trailblazing Pir Quaid-e-Tehreek Altaf Hussain bhai). That’s why you’ll seem him holding his phone with left hand in one pic, with right hand in another pic, with right hand but to his left ear in another pic and someone else holding holding it to his ear in another pic.

ہزاروں سال نرگس اپنی بےنوری پہ روتی ہے
بڑی مشکل سے ہوتا ہے چمن میں دیداور پیدا

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Is this the end of road for Hammad Siddiqui?

Hammad SiddiquiI should start this post with a warning that this post comprises of my thoughts and theories about Hammad Siddiqui’s disappearance from the scene. A lot would come clearer in next 24 hours once MQM has its workers’ convention and finalizes the new office bearers. Also this post is not about how the present changes MQM is going through are actually beneficial in the long run for denizens of Karachi as PTI’s victory in NA-250 as well as its emerging as 2nd largest party in Karachi with votes running into tens of thousands in those areas where MQM thought it has 98% of vote bank is forcing MQM to reconsider how it runs Karachi.

Who was Hammad Siddiqui and what forced him to run to Dubai overnight are the questions in everyone’s mind. Hammad Siddiqui was head of MQM’s Karachi Tanzeemi Committee (KTC) and after the Rabita Committee (RC) beating he was suspended from his position. The beating of RC I have covered in detail in my earlier post Why and How Rabita Committee was beaten? So the next question is what is KTC? In short, all sector incharges of Karachi report to KTC. A brief overview of MQM’s organization structure with respect to KTC is in order. Below is an excerpt from an email/post going around on facebook attributed to different people. Whereas those people have denied that they have written it, however, the below part is more or less true.

MQM is a very well managed organization which works under a tight command and control mechanism. They have divided Karachi into number of sectors; each sector is divided into units. The first tier is called the unit. There are MQM units in every nook and corner of Karachi. Every apartment complex has one unit, and nearly on every 500 houses there is a unit. The units report to a particular sector under which they come. Each unit has a unit in-charge and other proper posts. As these guys live among us hence they know each and every house and shop that come under their supervision. The unit in-charge literally controls whatever goes within the jurisdiction of his unit. From cable person reporting to him to the SHO of that area every one obeys that unit in-charge. They snatch mobiles, get bhatta from shops, get their students cheated in exams, confiscate skins at Eid Ul Azha and collect fitra on Eidu ul Fitar. The collections from units goes into millions and collection from Karachi goes into billions on daily basis.

The units report and submit their loot to the sectors, each unit in-charge has to sit in sector on frequent basis from where they get instructions. The sectors report to Nine Zero (90 is the address of the house of Altaf Hussain in Azizabad Karachi) this is headquarter of MQM. This is the reason that within minutes they can jam Karachi as they just need to make one call from 90, the instructions go to sectors where they call unit in-charge who have complete arms and ammunition. No Karachite can stand in front of them as they easily and without mercy kill. If they want to threat someone, they write on their house wall ” Jo Qaid ka ghadar hai who mot ka haqdar hai”

Lets divide MQM into two wings for our ease. One is political wing which is involved in law making, policy research, etc. Rabita Committee is part of political wing of MQM. Then you have the non-political wing (for lack of an appropriate word). This comprises of grassroot MQM workers of Unit offices and Sector offices. These are the foot soldiers of MQM and some of them also acts as part time militants of MQM. The non-political wing for Karachi reports to KTC which is or was headed by Hammad Siddiqui.

To use an army analogy, Hammad Siddiqui commands battalions and foot soldiers and this is where the real power lies. Similar to how soldiers are loyal to their commanding officers, the workers are loyal to unit incharge who in turn is loyal to his sector incharge who in turn is loyal to Hammad Siddiqui who in turn is loyal directly to Altaf Hussain. Whereas the political wing understands the political challenges MQM faces as a political mainstream party and tries to work within the system, the non-political wing does not feel such obligation. On paper, we have two RCs one in London and one in Karachi. Then you have KTC. The way it is supposed to work is Altaf Bhai is supposed to issue instructions to RC London who should convey it to RC Karachi and who in turn should act accordingly or if the need arises issue instructions to KTC. However, in reality, RC London is a cost centre because they don’t have source of revenue. RC Karachi sits on the goldmine that is the economic engine of Pakistan. Hence, there is always a power struggle between RC London and RC Karachi.

The slogan “Jo Quaid Ka Ghaddar Hai, Wo Maut Ka Haqdaar Hai” was made for KTC people and they firmly believe in it. There is a new slogan in town Altafist i.e., people feel their loyalty is more to Altaf Hussain and not to party or its ideology as such. You can think of KTC as Altafists ie they are more loyal to their chain of command and their boss Hammad Siddiqui answers to Altaf Hussain and not to the hierarchy of political wing. Though KTC and political wing may work together but if push comes to shove, KTC will not hesitate to beat the shit out of political wing if Altaf Hussain asks them to do it as we witnessed few days ago. Political wing is aware of this and has been wary of this sword hanging over them for a long time.

Now that we have understood the basics. What happened on the fateful night was pre-arranged between Hammad Siddiqui and Altaf Hussain. However, Altaf Hussain was not ready for the blowback from RC members and the latter has as a minimum asked for removal of Hammad Siddiqui who they never liked anyway. You must be asking how come RC Karachi holds so much sway when they could be beaten so easily. Answer is that RC as they are the ones who present the liberal, progressive and secular image of MQM to the world. Secondly, the election results with PTI threatening the crown of MQM as the only representative of people of Karachi really shook things up in MQM. When Altaf Hussain finally woke up from his drunken stupor he realized that MQM’s stature is under threat and decided to shake things up and make MQM a “decent” party. So his talk about no more charity collection (also known as extortion) by MQM along with other measures is part of improving the image of MQM.

So to appease RC, Altaf Hussain had removed Hammad from the party for doing exactly what Altaf Hussain asked him to do. However, as stated above, Hammad controlled KTC and footsoldiers and if Hammad orders them, they may rebel against the party or at least the political wing and by the time Altaf Hussain wakes up from his next hangover, a new management would be in place in Karachi, though still loyal to Altaf Hussain but no intellectual depth extortionists comprising of KTC. So RC had Hammad confined to MQM HQ and had orders issues that Hammad is not to contact any of the MQM workers and vice versa.

However, the Sector Incharges etc who are loyal to him would have still tried to contact him as is human nature as they have been reporting to him for years and despise the political wing similar to what happens in corporate world where people working in profit centres despise cost centres. So to put all such efforts to rest and so that no one catches on to it that Hammad Siddiqui is under confinement or has been killed by political wing, political wing leaks the news to media channels that Hammad Siddiqui has ran off to Dubai. The news spreads on electronic as well as social media like wildfire and everyone believes it as if major dent has been made in edifice of MQM. No one has seen Hammad Siddiqui at the airport and if he had to escape, he would go to UK and seek asylum instead of Dubai etc where intelligence agencies can reach him clandestinely as well as through official channels. The question no one is asking is why would you want to let Hammad go to Dubai where he can still call on loyalty of his sector and unit incharges and cause trouble when a new setup is far from established back home.

Is this the end of Hammad Siddiqui’s career? Probably, unless he is later forgiven by Altaf Hussain and joins back as Amir Khan of MQM-Haqiqi has done. However, I think he will remain hidden from the scene long enough that a new head of KTC takes over most probably a sector incharge of one of the lucrative sectors of Karachi. Alternatively, someone from London office may be made a KTC head so that KTC still remains loyal to Altaf Hussain and keeps a check on political wing. However, once the new head of KTC has established himself and more so if its a sector incharge, it will be in benefit of new KTC head that all incharges feel loyalty to him and not Hammad anymore. If lot of time passes, and Hammad arrives on the scene again trying to assert his authority, this time it will be the new KTC head who will have Hammad killed for becoming a challenge to his authority.

Hammad may be able to join the political wing or London RC, but I think his days as KTC head and major power player in Karachi are over. I could be 100% wrong in my above prophecies and could have waited half a day to see the outcome of workers’ convention but then where is the fun in that.

I would love to hear from you of what you think of it. You can put your statements in comments section below anonymously, send me an email on the address that appears in the sidebar or create a fake twitter account and tweet to me.

Two pieces that I recommend you read but take them with a pinch of salt are

MQM bubble about to burst (The Spokesman)

Britain’s relationship with MQM (Pak Nationalist)

Those who are believing this is end of MQM do not understand either politics or society of Karachi. Unless some revolt takes place, MQM is on a path to restructuring on which a very detailed post is needed which if life and time permits me I will write one of these days. One also needs to understand the dynamics of politics and violence in Karachi to understand MQM which for an outsider is pretty hard to do.

UPDATE 1:
Whispers on the street: Altaf Bhai has called back boys that are based in South Africa. If true, doesn’t bode well for future if city as South Africa is say where high profile target killings are planned by MQM. If its kiss and make up with Hammad at workers convention this evening. The next few weeks will be very bloody in this city.

UPDATE 2:
It’s been reported in news that PPP backed People’s Aman Committee killed 16 members of MQM backed Katchi Rabita Committee in a week. Probably South African death squad is being brought back to take on Amn Committee.

WARNING: All the above forecasts are ramblings based on rumors, information from reliable sources as well as my hypotheses and should be treated as such.

 

Why and How MQM Rabita Committee was beaten

[All updates will be at the end if this piece]

All the videos shared below are found on my earlier post Altaf Hussain : King of Hearts so apologies to those who were expecting newer material. The purpose of this post is to try to make sense of the events that led up to Rabita Committee being beaten.

Altaf Hussain had been making drunk speeches recently. According to my Dad, he has been making speeches after drinking cheap kachchi vodkas, which created an impulse in me to probe my dad further as how he came to know about side effects of cheap vodka but I digress.

He has always been a joker whenever he made those live performances (to call them anything other than “performances” such as speech etc would be dishonesty) and one can find tens of such video on youtube, however, for our current discussion it all started when Altaf Hussain threatened PTI protestors staging a dharna aka sit-in (or dharni according to MQM who claim Dharna comprises of a very large crowd) at Karachi’s Teen Talwaar roundabout against irregularities in polling of NA-250 National Assembly seat.

It was a peaceful dharna mainly comprising of upper class kids who before these elections and appearance of Imran Khan on political scene of Pakistan had been apolitical and had never really felt the terror of MQM like the people who live in middle class and lower class areas of Karachi. In his live speech to the protestors, Quaid-e-Tehreek Pir Altaf Hussain Bhai threatened these protesters that he will let loose his workers on them who will cut them up with swords.

Normally, it would have been enough to shut Karachi down. But the so-called youthias (a play on “youth” supporters of PTI) of PTI may not be politically savvy but they are social media savvy. And since Quaid-e-Tehreek Pir Altaf Hussain Bhai made this speech on live TV which all channels under instruction from MQM showed live, this really fired up the social media.

In subsequent days, PTI staged protests in different middle class areas of Karachi (which were about apparently polling irregularities but implicitly against MQM as MQM was the one party mainly engaging in irregularities in Karachi) such as Gulshan, North Nazimabad, Sharae Faisal which would have been unthinkable before the Teen Talwar protest.

Anyway, after the sword remarks by Quaid-e-Tehreek Pir Altaf Hussain Bhai, Rabita Committee (RC) goes into damage control mode. Raza Haroon comes on TV and explains that in Quaid-e-Tehreek Pir Altaf Hussain Bhai’s speech, sword was an allusion to three swords on the eponymous Teen Talwar Roundabout inscribed with founder of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s words Unity, Faith and Discipline. To anyone who has heard Quaid-e-Tehreek Pir Altaf Hussain Bhai’s speech this seemed absurd but you have to admit, it was the best they could come up with in short time. Anyway, it became a butt of jokes on social media.

Adnan Asim's Karachi City. 3 Talwar ( Swords )...

Couple of days later, Quaid-e-Tehreek Pir Altaf Hussain Bhai has a live press conference with journalists where he threatens the journalists and ECP:

It was becoming too hard for RC to control the damage that Quaid-e-Tehreek Pir Altaf Hussain Bhai was doing to himself and consequently to MQM.

Then tragedy strikes. One night before the repolling has to take place in NA250 and which MQM had boycotted, PTI office bearer Mrs. Zehra Shahid is gunned down which police immediately describes us mugging gone wrong and everybody else i.e. witnesses and media described as a case of targeted killing.

When news reaches Imran Khan leader of PTI, he releases a statement from his hospital bed, where he was being treated for spinal injury after his fall, that he holds Quaid-e-Tehreek Pir Altaf Hussain Bhai directly responsible for her murder and also holds British Government responsible for allowing Quaid-e-Tehreek Pir Altaf Hussain Bhai to run his party and killings from London.

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Despite it being an open secret that MQM has a militant wing and it engages in targeted killings on behalf of MQM as well as hires out its services to other local and international agencies, and whereas other parties do claim in their protests and publication that MQM has terrorized the city, it was the first time that Quaid-e-Tehreek Pir Altaf Hussain Bhai was reported by all the 24 hour news media as well as international media as being called a murderer and consequently running a terrorist organization.

MQM who has always controlled media with an iron hand was at taken aback as never any adverse news about MQM has been released in media as MQM has the ability to shut down channels as well as physically threaten their workers and journalists in Karachi. MQM was not prepared such a serious allegation which was “heard around the world”.

Quaid-e-Tehreek Pir Altaf Hussain Bhai wanted to make another live televised address to counter this allegation but RC stopped him saying that RC will take care of it. RC called a press conference and condemned Imran Khan for making a baseless allegation and later on also stated that they will send Imran Khan a Rs.50 Billion defamation suit.

However, Altaf Bhai was not satisfied with Rabita Committee’s statement and instead of calling the audience through RC (normal procedure) sends out an announcement of his speech to workers the same night by directly announcing it through electronic media.

The speech is made around 4 in the morning allowing workers to congregate as his announcement was sent out very late. In a performance worthy of Oscar award, Quaid-e-Tehreek Pir Altaf Hussain Bhai ended his speech by asking his workers that RC did nothing when Quaid-e-Tehreek Pir Altaf Hussain Bhai’s honor was challenged, will you, the workers, also will also remain quiet. Egged on by Hammad Siddiqui, workers get fired up and stand up.

We all know what happened afterwards. You can hear Farooq Sattar’s voice over the speaker in the end where he is pleading with the enraged workers “maafi maang to rahay hain hum”.

Not many people know this but Altaf Hussain when he was still in Karachi had Farooq Sattar beaten “aik joota fi kas” i.e., every worker was asked to beat him with one boot each. At the time, Farooq Sattar was trying to wrangle for more control in MQM and may be trying to weaken influence of Altaf Bhai.

In this beating, Babar Ghori’s clothes were torn, Raza Haroon received facial injuries and that is the reason he is not coming on media since then. But worst was reserved for Wasay Jalil. Altaf Bhai said “issay itni zor say joota maro ke mujhay yahan tak awaz aaye” (beat him so hard with a boot that I can hear the voice over the line [here in London]).

The workers are part of Karachi Tanzeemi Committee (KTC) i.e. organizing committee. It is headed by Hammad Siddiqui who is younger brother of MQM former MPA Adil Siddiqui. All the Unit Incharges and Sector Incharges report to Hammad Siddiqui and all MQM workers report to their respective unit incharges. So when workers beat RC members, it is said that Hammad had them beaten because RC and Hammad/KTC didn’t see eye to eye.

However, this doesn’t take away the fact Quaid-e-Tehreek Pir Altaf Hussain Bhai was listening while the beating was going on and didn’t stop it. In an effort of damage control for public consumption, all the workers who had participated in beating RC members were asked to submit written apologies next day.

Later that day workers convention is held wherein media is barred from reporting live. Through a press release it is made know that due to not following party discipline, Hammad Siddiqui-head of KTC is removed and KTC is dissolved. Hammad Siddiqui is being made a scapegoat here as Altaf Bhai was well aware when the beatings were going on.

However, RC being a public and positive face of MQM needed to be appeased and this what they asked for as a minimum as they wouldn’t dare ask for abdication of Quaid-e-Tehreek Pir Altaf Hussain Bhai.

Hammad Siddiqui is paying a heavy price for showing the exact loyalty that Quaid-e-Tehreek Pir Altaf Hussain Bhai demands from his workers. His membership of MQM has been cancelled and he has been barred from making any contact with workers and workers have been barred from making any contact with him.

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Situation on ground is very fluid right now. Arrival of PTI has shaken MQM to the core and they are going on a major rebranding exercise. RC both in London and Karachi have just been dissolved. It could be that RC Karachi was rebelling. There is also a tussle between RC Karachi and RC London. Former MQM MPA Tariq Javaid is back in town from London and it was earlier presume he will take over reins of KTC. The new organization structure will emerge from MQM worker’s convention set for 25th May 2013. If time and life permits, will write another post on how and why this rebranding is just a facade.

UPDATE 1:
All news media reporting that Hammad Siddiqui has left for Dubai. MQM has placed a ban in media since above events to not report anything without their permission. This means that news about Hammad leaving for Dubai is released by MQM themselves causing one to doubt its veracity. There are whispers that Hammad is being kept underground at safest place in Karachi ie MQM HQ Nine Zero in Azizabad.

UPDATE 2:
If you want to know how deep is MQM entrenched in security apparatus of Karachi, read this amazing piece on murder of GEO network journalist Wali Khan Babar – Roots of Impunity

Altaf Hussain : Apotheosis to a Pir – Picture from the Archives

Those expecting that Quaid e Tehreek Pir Altaf Hussain will be arrested are in for a rude surprise. In Ardeshir Cowasjee‘s words, he is the Pir of Edgware.

Not many remember but two events described Quaid e Tehreek’s apotheosis to Pir level.

One was his impression appearing on a leaf. Unfortunately could not find its picture.

The other was when he was on hunger strike, birds were released from a cage for his well being. Instead of flying away to freedom, they closed in on him and perched on his bed thus establishing his status as a Pir and shutting the mouth of naysayers.

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I have been sharing these pics and history on my facebook page. What I have noticed that they are shared which I don’t object to. However, the satirists and cartoonists that are dime a dozen on facebook take them up, make memes of them and spread them without giving an credit.

I shared the above history and pic on my facebook page 3 days ago. Yet yesterday, a self proclaimed satirist tweets the below tweet without giving any due credit. Such a shame.

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