` Pakistan in Lock-Down As People Fear Arrest of Leader Pakistans MQM Party ‘

#AceNewsServices – PAKISTAN (Karachi) – June 04 – The leader of Pakistan’s MQM party, Altaf Hussain, has been arrested in London on suspicion of money-laundering, reports said on Tuesday as panic spread through his home city of Karachi and protesters torched vehicles.

British police said only that a 60-year-old man had been detained at a residential address in north-west London and officers were searching the building.

“Officers have this morning arrested a 60-year-old man on suspicion of money-laundering,” a Metropolitan Police statement said.

Hussain fled Pakistan for Britain in 1992 after a military operation to end ethnic unrest in Karachi, gaining British citizenship in 2002.

Pakistan‘s biggest city was in lock-down for a second day on Wednesday, with shops and markets closed and people staying home for fear of violence following the arrest in London of one of the country’s most feared men.

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has its power base in the violence-racked city of Karachi, Pakistan’s largest, which it controls with an iron fist.

Panic gripped the sprawling metropolis of 18 million people soon after local television broadcast the reports. Angry protesters torched at least a dozen vehicles, according to rescue officials.

Many rushed to stock up on groceries in anticipation of a prolonged shut-down while office workers left for home early, clogging up roads.

Altaf Hussain, leader of the powerful Muttahida Qaumi Movement party and wanted in Pakistan in relation to a murder case, was arrested in north-west London where he has lived in self-imposed exile since the early 1990’s.

Karachi, a sprawling and violent port city of 18 million, is virtually controlled by Hussain’s party, and reports of sporadic violence emerged as soon as news of his arrest reached the city.

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