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Govt to take legal action against Altaf Hussain

05 May, 2015

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ISLAMABAD: The Standing Committee on Defence decided Tuesday to take legal action against Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Chief Altaf Hussain over his recent statements against the Pakistan Army.

Secretary Defence (retd) Lt Gen Mohammad Alam Khattak assured the National Assembly's Defence Committee that legal action will be taken against the MQM chief over his remarks.

"The Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) has given its stance on Altaf Hussain's statement and the Ministry of Defence has a similar stance," Khattak said.

A member of the standing committee Asfandyar Bhindara raised objections over Altaf Hussain's statements during the meeting and demanded legal action against the MQM chief. Committee Chairman Sheikh Rohail Asghar endorsed his views.

Last week, Director-General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major-General Asim Bajwa condemned statements issued by the MQM supremo and had said that the matter would be legally pursued.

In a series of tweets, the DG had termed the MQM chief's remarks regarding the army and its leadership as "uncalled for and disgusting", adding that such references to the army and its leadership in response to the arrest of criminals who may have links with a political party would not be tolerated.

The MQM's Rabita Committee had said in a statement that party chief Altaf Hussain had not criticised the military leadership. The statement added that the MQM supremo had rather praised the steps taken by the army and asked Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif to dispense justice.

Previously, MQM chief Altaf Hussain in a late night address criticised the military and said the party had always been discriminated against.

"Those who surrendered are called patriots while the founders of Pakistan are dubbed as traitors,” he said.

These statements had come in the wake of a press conference by former SSP Malir Rao Anwar who made the startling claim that two suspects arrested from Karachi — Tahir alias Lamba and Mama Junaid — belonged to MQM and had been sent to India for training in the past.

Altaf claimed that those in the corridors of power had never accepted them as "sons of the soil". He said that "Pakistan would bear irreparable loss, if atrocities against us [the MQM] are not stopped".

The MQM supremo said that other ethnic groups had also established nationalist organisations in the country but only his party was subjected to operations.

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