There has been remarkably little coverage in the British press of the fact that Imran Khan the former international cricketer, is using the British courts to try to bring Altaf Hussain, head of the semi-fascist Muttahida Qaumi Movement, to justice for the massacre of 42 democracy protestors in Lahore on May 12th. Khan is using the well known human rights lawyer, also called Imran Khan.
According to Pakistani paper, the
“Three weeks ago, gunmen opened fire on a rally supporting Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, triggering bloodshed that left 42 people dead. Khan along with lawyers, human rights activists and opposition parties accuses Hussain of orchestrating the carnage from his residence in London. “The entire incident was planned. No British citizen is allowed to sit in London while directing terrorist operations abroad, so why is there an exception for Altaf Hussain?” said Khan, describing the MQM as “a fascist movement run by criminals”. “
As Imran Khan has pointed out: “The British government is involved in a war against terror but is giving Pakistan’s No 1 terrorist sanctuary”.
For the past 16 years, Hussain has lived in self-imposed exile in the UK initially as an asylum-seeker and currently as a British citizen. He fled to London to escape from criminal prosecution in Pakistan He is now based in an office block on Edgware High Street in north London, from where he rules his party by phone apparently directing his closest lieutenants in long, late-night conversations.
But Hussain does not fit the media profile of a terrorist neatly enough for the British press, or the British government to be interested. His party, the MQM tries to project an image based on secularism, economic development and support for the “war on terror” since entering a coalition government with President Pervez Musharraf in 2002, himself an Ally of Britain and the USA.
In reality the MQM has always been liked to extortion, gun smuggling and international crime networks, it is also an ethno-linguistically defined supremacist party, representing the Urdu speaking community who fled to Pakistan following partition in 1947.
So why is New Labour, usually obsessed with terror, so quiet? Why is the British press so quiet about a murder gang being allegedly orchestrated from Britain against democracy protestors ?
Could it be because Altaf Hussain’s party is included in President Mussaraf’s government?