Money-laundering case against Altaf withdrawn


Salahuddin Haider

Karachi—The Scotland Yard announced Thursday to have withdrawn the money-laundering case against Altaf Hussain, founder leader of MQM for lack of evidence but persistent in-fight continues to confuse the people about the fate of a party which for over three decades ruled urban Sindh, but has begun to fall apart now.
Even on Thursday, one of its key functionary, Qasim Ali Raza denied from London about the switching over of loyalties of four of party’s eminent persons to Mustafa Kamal’s Pak Sarzameen Party. This was agaist all ethics because the four were present at Kamal’s press talk in Karachi Thursday.
The obvious motive was to cause confusion and portray MQM of Altaf Hussain, located in London, as being still influential and in full command. The situation is however different. The Party has split into three factions—four in fact if Haqeeqi too is counted.
Late on Wednesday night, MQM convener Nadeem Nusrat announced suspending the basic membership of three eminent personalities, including Kishwar Zehra MNA, Faisal Sabzwari, MPA, Khawaja Izharul Hasan, leader of opposition in Sindh Assembly. The basic membership of MQM Pakistan leader Dr Farooq Sattar was already suspended after he disowned Altaf.
However even cursory survey would reveal beyond any shadow of doubt that almost 85 percent of MQM leadership and ranks and file have stood by the side of Farooq Sattar and have responded to his call for workers meeting in huge numbers.
As for the case of money laundering, it was obvious the London Metropolitan Police, which is also known as Scotland Yard, had failed in last five years to collect sufficient evidence against Altaf, or his close aides like Mohammad Anwar, or their financier Sarfaraz Merchant. The Crown Prosecution, comprising senior barristers and lawyers, scrutinized the police case, and threw it out for want of sufficient evidence.