Altaf Hussain: Pakistan MQM leader released after arrest

His released has led to jubilant scenes in Karachi and Hyderabad

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The Independent Online

The exiled leader of Pakistan’s Muttahida Qaumi Movement Party, Altaf Hussain, has been released on bail by police in London after he was arrested and questioned on suspicion of money laundering.

Hussain, who runs Pakistan’s fourth largest party, was questioned by police for several hours on Friday, before being transferred to the Wellington Hospital in St John's Wood.

Since his arrest on Tuesday, Hussain has spent time between the police station and the hospital due to the 60-year-old’s current poor health.

He is required to report to police again in July.

On Tuesday, police detained Hussain and searched his house following an investigation looking into allegations of money laundering by Hussain.

It is not the first time Hussain has been investigated by British authorities since his arrival in the country in 1992.

In September 2010, Hussain was questioned after senior MQM leader Imran Farroq was murdered in London - but no one was formally charged.

Hussain’s release would have come as welcome news to MQM supporters in the party’s stronghold areas of Karachi and Hyderabad.

According to local press, there were jubilant scenes across the two cities as supporters celebrated his release.

Following his arrest on Tuesday, there were large scale protests with thousands turning out on the streets of Karachi to voice their displeasure at his arrest.

Reports said that roads were blocked and buses were destroyed during the protests in Pakistan’s economic capital.

It has always been feared by both British and Pakistani authorities that any arrest of Hussain could stir up political tensions in Pakistan and prompt riots.

Despite not being in Pakistan he is still very influential i running the from his north London home.

He has always been seen as a divisive character in Pakistani politics, with many of his critics labelling his MQM party as violent.

Last year, Hussain carried out an investigation into Hussain’s after it was alleged he had incited violence during a televised speech.