KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) head Dr Farooq Sattar was released in less than an hour after being arrested on charges of hate speech late Friday night, police said.
Dr Farooq Sattar left for his residence in PIB Colony in his own vehicle.
The veteran politician was arrested from Sharae Faisal area of Karachi when he was returning from a wedding function. He was shifted to a police station in Lyari where he was kept for an hour.
Azad Khan, DIG South, has confirmed the arrest.
The move comes a day before the Muttahida Qaumi Movement is to mark its 33rd foundation day.
MQM-Paksitan has strongly condemned the detention of Dr Farooq Sattar.
“A consultation meeting is under way at PIB Colony to discuss the issue. Our patience must not be misconstrued as our weakness,” Faisal Sabzwari, a leader of the MQM-P, warned.
“We don’t believe in politics of confrontation. We will give our reaction in a mature manner,” he said.
Earlier, heavy police contingents surrounded the party’s provisional headquarters in the PIB Colony area.
The police claimed that the MQM leader had not applied for a pre-arrest bail in the hate speech case.
An anti-terrorism court (ATC) had also declared the MQM leader as an absconder in multiple cases. Sattar and the others were charged with listening to, organising and facilitating a speech made by Altaf Hussain in which he railed against the military establishment and security agencies.
Hussain was also accused of inciting MQM workers to attack the offices of two media houses in the same speech. On Aug 22, 2016, the day of the speech, Sindh Rangers had taken Sattar and MQM leader Khawaja Izharul Hasan into custody from outside Karachi Press Club a few hours an attack on ARY News. The two were released after eight hours in custody.