KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Pakistan leader Farooq Sattar was released on Friday night just minutes after he was arrested by police over hate speech charge.
According to MQM Pakistan spokesman Ameenul Haq, Sattar was arrested when he was returning home after attending a wedding at the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) Museum. He said that Sattar was shifted to undisclosed location. However, he was released afterwards. Earlier, an anti-terrorism court had declared the MQM leader an absconder.
Sattar and the others were charged with listening to, organising and facilitating a speech made by MQM supremo Altaf Hussain in which he railed against the military establishment and security agencies. Several anti-Pakistan slogans were chanted during the party chief's live telephonic speech. Hussain was also accused of inciting MQM workers to attack the offices of two media houses in the same speech.
On Aug 22, the day of the speech, the Sindh Rangers had taken Sattar and MQM leader Khawaja Izharul Hasan into custody from outside the Karachi Press Club. The two leaders had intended to address a press conference in connection with the attack on ARY News; however, as they were about to start, Rangers officials arrived at the site and asked both leaders to accompany them to the Rangers Headquarters. The two were released after eight hours in custody.
Meanwhile, MQM leader Faisal Sabzwari Friday said that the party's consultation meeting was in progress to look into the matter. He; however, said: "Our clemency must not be misconstrued as weakness."