KARACHI: Wait is over as Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has finally published the results of a poll about the future of Altaf Hussain's party leadership, Samaa reported.
On Monday, in an unusual development, the MQM hanged a poll on its web portal in which Hussain had asked: “Should I step down to save the party and the people?” The voting options were: 'Yes', 'No', or 'Don’t Know.'
According to the results of the survey, 72 percent of the voters want Hussain to continue as the MQM chief while the rest (28 percent) do not.
Police have registered many cases under terrorism laws against Hussain, who lives in exile in London over a speech criticising the country's powerful military establishment.
Hussain delivers speeches, relayed by telephone link from London to Karachi, in which he accuses government paramilitary forces of torturing and murdering his party workers.
Pakistan has broad anti-terrorism laws that can encompass a wide range of offences which do not all have an obvious link to violence.
The paramilitary Rangers have been carrying out an operation aimed at stopping the wave of political, religious, ethnic and criminal violence that has swamped the city in recent years.
The MQM, often accused by its critics of using extortion and murder to cement its power, has complained its workers have been unfairly targeted by security forces in a bid to curb its power.
The speech also angered the government, with Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan vowing to complain to the British government.
The Metropolitan Police are currently investigating the MQM over money-laundering after a huge quantity of cash was reportedly found at party offices and Hussain's home in London.
As well as the money-laundering case, British police are also probing the murder of MQM politician Imran Farooq in London in 2010.
Hussain controls the party from London, where he has lived in self-imposed exile since leaving Pakistan in the early 1990s, and now has British citizenship.
A BBC report last month said MQM members had told British police the party had received money and military training from Pakistan's arch-rival India.
The party vehemently denied the allegations.–SAMAA/Agencies