Monday Aug 10, 2020
LONDON: Former Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leaders Syed Tariq Mir and Muhammad Anwar have asked party founder Altaf Hussain to transfer 221 Whitchurch Lane property in the name of Shumaila Imran Farooq and her two sons in order to settle the on-going dispute over two properties held under a trust set up for the families of MQM’s slain workers, and the needy.
Mir and Anwar are legal owners of 221 and 185 Whitchurch Lane properties, bought under a trust originally dedicated for the MQM Pakistan, but the properties are in occupation of Hussain and his team. Mir and Anwar have refused to transfer the properties to Hussain’s name stating that shifting the title and ownership of the properties to Hussain would be an illegal act.
In a letter sent recently to the MQM founder, available with this correspondent, Mir and Anwar have offered that they will forego outstanding rent of the last two years for the two properties if the “Ground floor of 221 is to be transferred to Dr Imran's family outright while the upper floor will be rented out for their support and the support of suffering families in Pakistan and expenses”. While “185 is to be rented out and rental income utilised to assist other deserving families”.
In the letter, Anwar and Mir have made it clear in the letter that the two properties “were not bought by our money”.
“We never claimed that they were. All properties were purchased with the funds donated to the party for the benefit of the party martyrs’ families and workers and their families in distress. 221 and 185 Whitchurch Lane have been in your possession, we didn’t drive any benefit from the two properties, nor do we intend to,” the letter reads.
The letter adds: “The explicit verdict of The Holy Quran, S Tauba 60: ‘SadaQuat (Charitable donations) are for the Poor and Needy.’ Donations are not for waste or unnecessary consumption. The two properties would be utilised exclusively for the benefit of the needy. You had the same conviction once. We would prefer to avoid further aggravation and wasteful expenses, despite the fact that you made inaccurate allegations against us causing us and our families great distress.”
Anwar and Mir have offered that if Hussain agrees to transfer the properties for the benefit of Shumaila Farooq and her two sons and other MQM deserving families then they “will forego the past four years' outstanding rent from 221 and the potential rent for many years from 185. You can also name the families who deserve assistance on a regular basis. They will all be looked after by the mutually nominated trustees.”
The letter also told Hussain categorically that his offer for Shumaila Imran Farooq to shift to a flat - bought by the party’s charity The Society for Unwell & Needy (SUN) – was not sincere because the flat above a grocery shop near Edgware is small and old hence it is not suitable for Shumaila, who is also a cancer patient, and her two sons.
Moreover, the letter stated that the SUN charity “functions under strict rules of Charity Commission in England by four trustees” and “the trustees do not have the authority to transfer the charity property to anyone. It is against British law. In any case, the small flat above the shops is too small and noisy for a family of an ailing mother and two children to live”.
Responding to accusations by MQM-London, Anwar and Mir wrote in the letter that since 1997 (when the SUN was formed) all monies received by the SUN were deposited into SUN’s bank account and spent to assist the poor and needy and for the maintenance of the property.
“Not a single penny has ever been taken by any trustee for his/her personal use. All accounts since the charity’s inception have been lodged with the Charity Commission, for you and anyone else to examine,” it said.
A source in the MQM-London said that Hussain has received the letter from his former associates. The MQM spokesman did not provide a comment on the contents of the letter and whether Dr Imran Farooq’s widow will be helped by Hussain as he had originally promised.