MQM-P initiates legal claim against Altaf for seven London properties

Murtaza Ali Shah
This is the first time that the MQM-Pakistan has taken up a direct challenge to Altaf Hussain and his associates. Photo: file

LONDON: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) has initiated a legal claim at the London High Court for the ownership of seven expensive London properties against the party’s founder Altaf Hussain, his brother Iqbal Hussain and five others.

The News has seen evidence of the legal claim initiated this week by the MQM-P through a London law firm Legis Chambers for the possession of seven prime location properties valued at over £10 million. The law firm has started the case on behalf of its client Syed Aminul Haque, the MNA from NA251 Karachi who is a Federal Minister and also a member of the MQM-Pakistan's Rabita Committee.

This is the first time that the MQM-Pakistan has taken up a direct challenge to its former founder and his associates since the party broke up after the Altaf's infamous August 16 speech. The MQM-Pakistan has launched the claim in its capacity as the beneficiary of the trusts that holds the seven London properties.

The legal claim by the MQM-P has the following defendants answerable to the Pakistani chapter: Altaf Hussain of Abbey View; Iqbal Hussain of Exchange Boulevard, Glendale Heights, Illinois, Tariq Mir of West London, Muhammad Anwar of Edgware, Iftikhar Hussain of High View, Gardens Edgware, Qasim Raza of Cowper Gardens, and Euro Property Developments of Highview Gardens, Edgware.

The MQM-P’s court claim is focused on the following seven properties which are trust assets: Abbey View house; High View Gardens first house, High View Gardens second house, Whitchurch Lane first house, Whitchurch Lane second house, Brookfield Avenue house and the MQM 1st Floor Elizabeth House office.

Barrister Nazar Mohammad of Legis Chambers told Geo and The News: “The purpose of the claim is to obtain declaratory relief from the High Court as to trust assets which are held by the Defendants as trustees for the benefit of the MQM-P. In addition to the declarations of trusts, there are other sworn court documents which affirm and attest that the trust assets belong to the MQM. There are specific trust documents disclosed within the court file lodged at Court and served on the individual Defendants.”

The court claim informs the defendants “the Muttahida Quami Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) is an unincorporated association registered as a political party in Pakistan”.

It maintains that MQM Pakistan is “the beneficiary of bare trusts and or resulting/ constructive trusts”. 

The claimant (MQM-P) seeks declaratory relief that the seven properties are trust assets and has asked the court for “proprietary injunction to stop the Defendants dealing with and misappropriating trust funds and assets (iv) account and tracing of trust assets
 (v) account for rental income and other income generated from the trusts assets
 (vi) transfer of property to nominated trustees and or order for sale.

The MQM-P has asked Altaf Hussain and others to account for “use and occupation rent against all Defendants” and “the Defendants to be made jointly and severally liable for costs”.

The MQM-Pakistan has stated in the court papers that all Defendants accept that “they are trustees for the MQM” while Euro Property firm is a “vehicle for knowing receipt of trust funds and or concealing trust funds for the Defendants, and is or may be constructive trustee”.

The Claimant contends that the Fifth and Sixth Defendants (Iftikhar Hussain and Qasim Raza) are dishonest assisters and or constructive trustees.

MQM’s former senior leaders Muhammad Anwar and Tariq Mir have already told Altaf Hussain that they will not hand over the control of the two Whitchurch Lane properties.