Altaf Hussain who leads the MQM in London (MQM-L), has been a very prominent politician in Pakistan and infamous for his telephonic speeches.
However, following a ban imposed by Lahore High Court on his speeches, Hussain had been lying low for some time. Things also got complicated for the politician after Scotland Yard opened various inquiries against him. These include an ongoing investigation around money laundering as well as his 2016 speech inciting violence.
Save his Twitter handle and one-off videos posted to social media, the MQM leader seemed to have lost his relevance entirely.
However, on Sunday Altaf Hussain made headlines when he asked Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for asylum.
Altaf Seeks Asylum from Modi
Bedeviled by the terrorism offence charged against him by UK’s Crown Prosecution Services in October and his hate-spewing influence stifled in his former stronghold, Karachi, Altaf Husain probably found himself pushed against the wall when he reached out to Indian Premier Narendra Modi requesting asylum. He also asked Modi for financial assistance in case the Indian leader couldn’t help him with asylum.
Altaf Hussain wants asylum from Modi to visit graves
“If India’s Prime Minister 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.”
As for now, Modi has not responded to this call for help from Hussain.
Charged by the UK Police
In a case linked to Hussain’s provocative speech delivered from the UK to his followers in Pakistan, he has been charged with a terrorism offence by The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
He had been granted a bail on conditions that restrict him to broadcast any message through any medium to any audience.
According to Khaleej Times, his trial is due in June next year and he is not allowed to travel except if the court allows him to.
Hate Speeches in 2015
In 2015, Altaf Hussain was sentenced to 81 years in jail by Pakistan’s Anti-Terrorism Court for inciting violence by delivering anti-state speeches to his followers. In addition to the sentence he was also subjected to a fine of 2.4 million rupees.
The court also ordered the authorities to confiscate his properties and put them up for auction.
Before his sentence, the Lahore High Court (LHC) had already imposed a ban on any media coverage involving Hussain.
Altaf Hussain is residing in the UK in a self-imposed exile since 1992.
Since then, the Pakistani authorities have often asked for an action against him for inciting violence and hate in Pakistan, directly through his speeches and indirectly through the activities of the (informal) militant wing of his political party.