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PESHAWAR, June 3: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief, Mr Altaf Hussain, has been arrested by the London police in United Kingdom on charges of money laundering.

Western media reports say Mr Altaf Hussain was arrested from his home in North West area of London.

About one and a half years ago, the Scotland Yard Police conducted a raid on the house and office of Mr Altaf Hussain and recovered 0.7 million pounds from his custody. He was accused of having earned the money through unfair means as the MQM failed to identify sources of income.

After the arrest of the MQM chief, the party activists staged protests in Karachi, raising slogans against London authorities. The government tightened security but even then the demonstrators were able to torch 10 vehicles in Karachi.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement, generally known as MQM, is a political party in Pakistan, mainly representing Urdu-speaking Mohajirs (refugees from India). The All Pakistan Muhajir Student Organisation was founded in 1978 by Mr Altaf Hussain and it subsequently gave birth to the Muhajir Qaumi Movement in 1984. In 1997, the MQM officially removed the term Muhajir (which denotes the party’s roots among the country’s Urdu-speaking community) from its name, and replaced it with Muttahida (United).