MQM stages protest outside BBC in London
LONDON: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has called for an end to what it called the “media trial” of its London based leader Altaf Hussain, urging the UK authorities to adopt a neutral and “unbiased” approach in dealing with at least four investigations the party faces in Britain.
During a demonstration outside the BBC headquarters here near Oxford Street, the Rabita Committee members protested that the recent report on the BBC’s Newsnight had defamed and maligned the MQM leader Altaf Hussain and quoted wrong facts.
The protest was led by MQM leaders Muhammad Anwar, Mustafa Azizabadi, Dr Babar Ghauri, Nadeem Nusrat, Dr Saleem Danish and Tariq Javid. MQM’s units from various parts of the country took part in the protest, which coincided with rallies in Pakistan.
The demonstrators chanted slogans in support of Altaf Hussain and said their leader was the victim of a media trial and his name has wrongly mentioned. They said that the BBC failed to project the full view of the party in its report. The party has called on the BBC to show full interview of Senator Farogh Nasim who had represented the MQM in the report. They said that there were no cases against Altaf Hussain when he left Pakistan; all cases were registered against him in absentia.
Dr Imran Farooq’s widow Shumaila Imran Farooq also participated.She told The News: “Altaf Hussain has always spoken for the downtrodden class of Pakistan. He is the only leader who has taken a stance against the corrupt feudal system and has spoken for the rights of middle classes. Some forces have always conspired against him but he has always won and he will be victorious this time too.”
The report by Owen Bennet Jones, quoting security officials, for the first time named Mohsin Ali Syed and Muhammad Kashif Khan Kamran as the suspected killers of Dr Imran Farooq, the former MQM leader who was killed in London on 16 September 2010. The BBC also revealed that the UK’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has called on Pakistan to trace these two men.
The MQM handed over a protest letter to the BBC, addressed to the BBC’s Director General Tony Hall, which said that the BBC broadcast involving the MQM has “clear flaws, particularly its leading commentary which creates and presents a negative perception of the MQM and its leader Altaf Hussian.”