Detectives have charged the exiled leader of the MQM, Altaf Hussain, with encouraging terrorism in connection with an alleged hate speech he made in August 2016.
Hussain, 66, is a controversial figure who has lived in London since fleeing a crackdown on the party in Pakistan in 1991.
The MQM subsequently split into two factions - one based in London and led by Hussain and the other, which remained in Pakistan and is led by Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui.
🚨EXCLUSIVE: MQM leader Altaf Hussain has been charged by Scotland Yard in incitement speech inquiry under terrorism act. Massive development and big trouble for Altaf Hussain. The Crown Prosecution Service allowed charges over sufficient evidence establishing. pic.twitter.com/oQ8eSxbf5I— Murtaza Ali Shah (@MurtazaViews) October 10, 2019
Hussain has continued to broadcast speeches which are livestreamed to his supporters in Pakistan.
The Crown Prosecution Service has charged him that “on 22 August 2016 he published a speech to crowds gathered in Karachi, Pakistan which were likely to be understood by some or all of the members of the public to whom they were published as a direct or indirect encouragement to them to the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism and at the time he published them, intended them to be so encouraged, or was reckless as to whether they would be so encouraged.”
And I never looked Back— Irum Azeem Farooque (@Irumf) October 10, 2019
Mashallah I was proud that I was the first to disassociate myself from a leader who spoke against my Country ,who instigated his own people against the state.#AltafHussain Charged on that Particular speech in UK https://t.co/71ICjBlNlR
Hussain and other MQM leaders have been accused by the Pakistani authorities of making more than 20 hate speeches.
In one of the speeches he said "Pakistan is cancer for entire world…Pakistan is headache for the entire world. Pakistan is the epicentre of terrorism for the entire world. Who says long live Pakistan…it's down with Pakistan.”
The speech went viral on social media.
Congratulations #Pakistan !! 😍— Maleeha Hashmey (@MaleehaHashmey) October 10, 2019
MQM Founder - #AltafHussain CHARGED with TERRORISM offence under section 1(2) of the Terrorism Act 2006 for encouraging terrorism in his speech, in London! 👏👏👏
London Police be like; "Aik Thappar idhar, aik thappar udhar" 😂 pic.twitter.com/rp98EWgr3N
He later apologised to the chief of Pakistan’s Army, General Raheel Sharif.
Hussain, who was arrested in June and bailed, appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Thursday, 10 October.
In the past Hussain has criticised the partition of India and has been accused of trying to form a breakaway state, Jinnahpur, in Karachi.
In 2010 another exiled MQM politician, Imran Farooq, was stabbed to death in north London in a crime which remains unsolved.