Now, MQM's Altaf Hussain asks Modi to speak out for 'Muhajirs' in Pakistan

24 March 2017

Altaf Hussain Pakistan's Muhajir community, represented by Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM), the fourth-largest party in Pakistan, has sought India's support for raising its plight in international fora.

MQM leader Altaf Hussain a top Pakistani politician, on Thursday urged Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to raise the plight of 'muhajirs' or refugees living in Karachi and other parts of the country.

Hussain, who is living in exile in London, made the appeal, amidst growing Pakistani atrocities on people supporting the MQM and the Balochs, whom the federal government discriminates against.

Speaking in London, the Pakistani politician said while India was vocal about the brutality of Pakistan Army against people of Balochistan, Modi had failed to speak out for the people who lived in India for centuries.

Muhajirs are people of Indian origin settled in Pakistan for generations and are citizens of that country.

"I would like to register my complaint with Indian Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi, As Mr Modi, I regret to say, you are raising voice over the brutality of Pakistan Army against people of Baluchistan...never raised your voice for your own people who lived in India for centuries," he said.

"Our forefathers made a big mistake and migrated to Pakistan, but we were born here, and were never accepted as Pakistani or sons of soil. Mr Prime Minister you should have raised your voice against the atrocities, discrimination and brutality of Pakistani establishment, Army and para military forces against Urdu speaking 'muhajirs', your own people in Karachi, Pakistan," he added.

The MQM leader called on India to raise MQM's issues at all international and human rights fora.

Meanwhile, a British government official had, earlier, said the issue of London-based MQM supremo Altaf Hussain was being ''seriously'' reviewed and ''any decision in this regard will be made as per the law''.

''British laws have no exemption. I have assured the [interior] minister [of Pakistan], action will be taken upon their requests of justice without any discrimination,'' Home Secretary Amber Rudd said.

She was addressing a news conference with Pakistan's interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan after holding official-level talks in the federal capital in which matters relating to security, counterterrorism and immigration came under discussion.

MQM-London leader Hussain, who has been living in self-exile in London, has been accused of inciting violence in Pakistan through his telephonic addresses. His speeches have become a sticking point in relations between the two countries.

Interior minister Nisar indirectly referred to the issue during the news conference as ''irritants'' in an otherwise smooth and excellent relations enjoyed by the two countries.

He said nothing serious had affected bilateral ties, however there were certain ''irritants'' and ''roadblocks'' and the two sides had resolved to address the issues.

''I am extremely satisfied on the discussion with my British counterpart. There is understanding of each other's viewpoint,'' the minister said.

''Pakistan wants legal and diplomatic solution to all hurdles in the way of better relations between the two countries,'' he said.

Nisar said Pakistan and the UK enjoyed stable relations and the visit of the home secretary would further strengthen ties in diverse fields.

He hoped that bilateral relations between the two countries would be carried forward by two respective ministries and governments.

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