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Pakistan MQM founder Altaf Hussain arrested in UK

Altaf Hussain, the self-exiled founder of one of Pakistan's biggest political parties, has been arrested in the UK, his spokesman has said.

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. Current Affairs Digest by Dr Safdar Mahmood

The Metropolitan Police would only confirm that a man in his 60s had been held in an investigation into speeches related to his MQM party.

Mr Hussain, 65, requested asylum in the 1990s and later gained UK citizenship. Despite a split in the MQM, he still wields considerable influence in the party and its main power base, Karachi.

Correspondents say Mr Hussain is a maverick politician who has encouraged a personality cult to build up around him.

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His spokesman Qasim Raza confirmed to the BBC Urdu service that he had been taken in for questioning.

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The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has dominated politics in Karachi for three decades because of its support in the densely populated working class neighbourhoods of Urdu-speaking Muhajirs, descendants of Muslims who migrated from India when Pakistan was created in 1947.

From his self-imposed exile in London, Mr Hussain would address crowds of supporters of his MQM party in Pakistan via telephone.

The Pakistani authorities have repeatedly demanded action be taken against him - but his supporters have always maintained his innocence.

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