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Altaf Hussain


Altaf Hussain

Altaf Hussain
Founder and self-exiled leader of Muttahida Qaumi Movement
Born: 17 September 1953
Profession: Politician
Affiliation(s): MQM
Citizenship: Pakistani
Altaf Hussain was born on September 17, 1953 in Karachi.(Founder and self-exiled leader of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) formerly known as the Mohajir Qaumi Movement)

He has seven brothers and four sisters. His parents Nazir Hussain and mother late Khurshid Begum both belonged to religious families of Agra.The father and grandfather, Mufti Muhammad Ramzan were Muftis of the city. His mother and maternal grandfather Haji Hafiz Rahim Bukhsh were also religious persons and belonged to a known family of the city.

Migration to Pakistan
After the creation of Pakistan on August 14, 1947, parents of Altaf Hussain migrated to Pakistan with whole family and settled to a middle class locality of Karachi known as Ibn-e-Sena Lane. Altaf Hussain’s father died on March 13, 1967 while his mother passed away on December 5, 1985.
The founder of MQM and his family shifted to house in Block 8 of Azizabad neighbourhood in Federal B Area. The same house later became the MQM head office, also known as Nine-Zero (90), in Karachi.

He graduated in Pharmacy from the Islamia Science College in Karachi and later studied at the University of Karachi in Department of Pharmacy but had to leave his higher education because of politics.

Political Career (APMSO TO MQM)
His political career started when he was a student at the University of Karachi and founded All Pakistan Mohajir Students Organisation (APMSO) on June 11, 1978. APMSO started gaining support of Urdu-speaking students (Mohajirs) and was able to win 92 seats in college elections in 1980. However, APMSO faced a strong opposition from Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba, student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami.

Apmso’s Restructurtion in MQM
APMSO was restructured as Mohajir Qaumi Movement on March 18, 1984. On August 8, 1986, Altaf Hussain led first public convention of the party at Nishtar Park in Karachi.

Political Philosophy
Altaf Hussain credits himself as the first in Pakistan who introduced a new trend in the political culture by giving a non-feudal based political philosophy and forming a political party, which is the commonly associated as a representative of uneducated minorities. The party has been a coalition partner in governments of different parties.

MQM’s Terrorist Activites
Between 1990 and 1992, MQM was alleged to have been involved in widespread terrorist activities, including murder of dissidents, arson, torture and rape. Extortion had become so widespread within MQM circles that the army had to intervene.


On December 21, 1991 Altaf Hussain was attacked but he escaped. He fled Pakistan for Saudi Arabia on January 1, 1992 and after one month moved to London, United Kingdom. In 1992-93, Altaf Hussain’s brothers and nephews were killed and after a military operation was launched in Karachi on June 19, 1992,

Citizenship of the UK

He sought political asylum in the United Kingdom because he faces criminal charges in Pakistan. Later he got citizenship of the UK and is still staying there.


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