MQM prepares legal action against UK media campaign
By Murtaza Ali Shah
LONDON: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has angrily rubbished reports that its assassinated Convenor Dr Imran Farooq was planning to leave the party to join the new party of former President Musharraf – All Pakistan Muslim League (APML).
After newspapers claimed that the rows within the MQM may have led to the assassination of Dr Imran Farooq or Dr Imran Farooq may have been about to endorse or join new party set up by Gen (R) Pervez Musharraf, a senior leader of the MQM said that the party was preparing legal action media houses on the grounds of “libel and defamation”.
The London-based senior leader said the party was already in talks with its legal team over the damaging speculation while there is a live police investigation into the killing of Dr Imran Farooq.
“There is a limit to what can be tolerated. There should be a clear difference between the objective reporting and the reports based on hearsay and propaganda. We have taken advice from our legal experts over such innuendo which is skewed at damaging the party and its ideology,” said the source.
The source said that Dr Imran Farooq was a committed party stalwart and reports that he was about to leave the party were part of the smear campaign, launched in the wake of his killing in London.
Pervez Musharraf has expressed his sorrows at the killing of Dr Imran Farooq, 50, in a brutal knife attack outside his Edgware home on the evening of 16th September, but he has remained silent over how closely he knew the murdered leader and whether there is any truth to the rumours that Dr Imran was planning to lend support to Musharraf’s upcoming political party.
But a key Musharraf aide also maintained yesterday that no one in the Musharraf’s camp was aware that Imran Farooq had any plan to catapult himself on stage with Musharraf on the 1st October when the exiled leader will announce the launch of his party.
The party clearly has a fear that “dark forces” are active to take advantage from the situation created after the killing of Dr Imran Farooq.
The murder investigation, being led by Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism branch because of the political dimension to the killing, has so far failed to make any breakthrough and that’s the reason the Scotland Yard issued an appeal to catch the killers of Dr Imran Farooq through his widow Shumaila Imran last Thursday. A security official, however, confirm to The News that the police is keeping an open mind about the possible motives behind the killing of Dr Imran Farooq and was making progress in piecing together the evidence it has gathered.
The senior MQM leader, who spoke to The News on Monday, said the MQM’s enemies had come into action. He said the British media was being fed lies and propaganda from the traditional anti-MQM elements which has nothing to do with the reality and the media was taking it for facts, unfortunately.
“The way things are being turned against MQM have hallmarks of conspiracy all over it. Those running this campaign want to defame and malign MQM as they are scared of the rising popularity of the party all over Pakistan,” said the leader vowing that every move will be resisted and anyone found making baseless allegations against the party will be taken to the courts.
Since the death of Dr Imran, the MQM leadership has appealed to the British government to step up the security of its founder and leader Altaf Hussain. The senior MQM leader confirmed that it was talking to the British government about the security of Altaf Hussain and had conveyed its concerns to the authorities.
He told The News the worry of the party – that there is a bigger and more sinister plot against the party and its top leader – got currency after the idea of the “change of the leadership” was floated in some media circles, notably in a recent confrontational BBC interview with Muhammad Anwar, one of nearly three dozens MQM Rabita Committee members.
Anwar told the programme that a lot of things the British media said were a propaganda spread out by the Pakistani establishment. “The British media and NGOs are overwhelmed by the propaganda spread always by the Pakistani establishment. We don’t believe what the Pakistani establishment says. We are clean.”The party leader, who spoke to The News, said such lines of questioning smacked of a “plot” against the party and its mission to help create a liberal and progressive Pakistan.
Source: The News