Arrest warrant issued for political party leader in Pakistan

Pakistani court issues arrest warrant for leader of key political party

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Supporters of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement political party, one of Pakistan's major political parties, sit in protest condemning the arrest in London of its leader, Altaf Hussain, in Karachi, Pakistan, June 3, 2014.

According to officials of a Pakistani court, an arrest warrant was issued on  Wednesday for the head of key political party that controls the country’s biggest and richest city of Karachi.

"The court is issuing a non-bailable warrant for the arrest of Altaf Hussain," the court official said.

Altaf Hussain, the leader of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) political party - Pakistan's fourth largest party - , allegedly threatened  a colonel of the paramilitary Rangers force on a television talk show after the Rangers raided the party’s headquarters in March.

Hussain went into exile in 1992 after arrest warrants were issued against him over charges that allegedly included murder and the cases were later dropped.

Karachi is a financial centre that is home to 20 million people and generates half of the government revenue.

Hussain being arrested by Pakistani police seems improbable. The arrest warrant issue is a sign of worsening relations between army and politicians and that it raises questions over who will control Pakistan’s financial centre in the future.

Police officials claim the MQM operates like a mafia to maintain its control on power and involves in violence. However the party strongly denies it.

The MQM represents the descendents of Urdu-speakers who migrated from India after the creation of Pakistan in 1947 and holds the majority of the city’s legislative seats.

TRTWorld and agencies