The founder of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Altaf Hussain, was arrested in London on Tuesday morning, according to Pakistani media.
A report by Geo News claims Hussain was taken into custody by Scotland Yard and is currently in detention at a police station in central London. A forensics unit is also searching his residence, it adds.
Reportedly, Hussain was arrested over incitement and hate speech during a 2016 speech in which he exhorted his supporters to take the law into their own hands. At the time, the MQM had been blacked out on media over the contents of Hussain’s speech, resulting in attacks on media outlets and protests.
Both the Crown Prosecution Service and the Metropolitan Police Services have confirmed to Geo that a criminal investigation has been launched against Altaf Hussain.
A statement by London’s Metropolitan Police, without identifying Hussain by name, notes that a man has “been arrested in connection with an investigation into a number of speeches made by an individual associated with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) in Pakistan.”
According to the statement, Hussain was arrested “on suspicion of intentionally encouraging or assisting offenses contrary to Section 44 of the Serious Crime Act 2007.” It added: “The investigation, which is being led by officers from the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, is focused on a speech broadcast in August 2016 by an individual associated with the MQM movement in Pakistan as well as other speeches previously broadcast by the same person.”