ISLAMABAD - The Foreign Office here on Friday clarified that MQM chief Altaf Hussain had not so far provided the required documents to the Pakistani authorities in London necessary to issue him a passport and national identity card for overseas Pakistanis (NICOP).
The statement of the FO came in the backdrop of the other day’s public statement of Information Minister Pervez Rashid that the government had decided to issue Altaf Hussain national identity card for overseas Pakistanis as well as passport.
During a weekly briefing, FO Spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said that as soon as the required documents were received, the processing of both the documents would be initiated. “Whenever Altaf Hussain provides necessary documents, they will be processed accordingly,” Tasnim Aslam said. She said only in exceptional cases, a team of Nadra could visit the residence of applicant and take details for issuance of national identity card for overseas Pakistanis. But for a passport, the applicant would have to go to the Pakistani High Commission in London, she explained.
This was conveyed to Altaf Hussain about two to three weeks back, she said, adding the government was ready to extend all possible legal assistance to the MQM chief who was arrested by the London Metropolitian police on Tuesday on the charges of money laundering.
She said Altaf had not yet contacted Pakistani government for any assistance and explained that the government did not know details of the exact charges against the MQM chief. The spokesperson reasserted that the Foreign Office would act according to the directions of the government in case Altaf wanted any assistance or intended to return to Pakistan.
ALTAF BACK IN UK CUSTODY
AFTER HOSPITAL STAY
AFP adds from London: Altaf Hussain, the exiled MQM leader, was returned to a police station in Britain for questioning on Friday after spending three days in hospital, officers said. Hussain’s arrest at his suburban home in London on Tuesday in connection with alleged money laundering sparked protests in Karachi, his party’s power base, and has fuelled questions about the future of the MQM’s political machine.
A spokeswoman for London’s Metropolitan Police said that following his arrest, 60-year-old Altaf Hussain had been allowed to attend a pre-arranged medical appointment on Tuesday. “At the request of medical professionals, he was kept in hospital until today,” the spokeswoman said.
“The release back to detention was agreed after consultation with the hospital responsible for assessing his medical condition.” Police refused to give any further details of his hospital stay.