In a major development, TV anchor and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Amir Liaquat announced Tuesday his decision to quit the party, Waqt News reported.

Amir Liaquat was detained along with other key party leaders, including Dr Farooq Sattar and Khawaja Izharul Hassan, by Sindh Rangers after Monday’s attack on media houses by alleged MQM workers.

“I’m not a traitor. As I distance myself from the party, I apologise to everyone. Pakistan is everything to me. God bless Pakistan,” local media reports quoted Amir Liaquat as saying.

Earlier on Tuesday, Dr Farooq Sattar in a press conference at Karachi Press Club announced MQM’s decision to sideline party’s London-based supremo Altaf Hussain.

“In wake of the prevailing situation, MQM has decided to distance itself from anyone, be it a worker or the party chief, who speaks against Pakistan’s sovereignty and integrity,” said Dr Sattar.

The development came after Altaf Hussain launched a barrage of anti-Pakistan tirade. According to local TV channels, Altaf in his Monday’s speech told protesters "to storm the offices of TV channels".

Violent protesters later stormed the office of ARY News in Karachi’s Saddar area. They also set a police mobile on fire. The incident claimed one live and injured five others.

Later in the day, Sindh Rangers arrested Dr Sattar and Khawaja Izharul Hassan when the two were about to hold a press conference in wake of the attack on ARY News office.

Major General Akbar said that the paramilitary force will examine camera footage to identify perpetrators of the attack. “We won’t let anyone sabotage law and order in Karachi,” said the Rangers chief.

The paramilitary force also arrested several other Muttahida activists, including Amir Liaquat, Amir Khan and Sajid Ahmed. Media reports say the arrested MQM activists will record their statements.

After arresting key Muttahida leaders, including Dr Farooq Sattar and Amir Liaquat, Sindh Rangers sealed MQM stronghold Nine Zero after confiscating communication equipment.

According to local media reports, a heavy contingent of the paramilitary force arrested three party activists from Nine Zero. They also took control of the headquarters’ control room.