KARACHI - Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) London group’s arrested leaders Hassan Zafar, Kanwar Khalid Younis and Amjad Ullah Khan have been detained for 30 days and sent to Central Prison Karachi.

Karachi Police said that the leaders were detained under Maintenance of Public Order (MPO).

The Rangers took Professor Dr Hasan Zafar Arif and Kunwar Khalid Yunus into custody from outside the Karachi Press Club on Saturday, where they were due to address a press conference. Rangers also arrested newly joined MQM London leader Amjadullah from outside Karachi Press Club.

Recently, the MQM-London Rabita Committee announced a 12-member interim coordination committee in an attempt to regain organisational control of the party. The newly-formed coordination committee could only hold a press conference and a comparatively failed visit to the party’s martyrs monument.

On October 20, scores of MQM-London loyalists as well as newly formulated coordination committee members tried to visit the party’s ‘martyrs monument’ but the Rangers personnel deployed there only allowed women and aged party workers to visit there and offer Fateha.

Earlier this month, convener of the MQM’s London wing, Nadeem Nusrat, had announced a 12-member interim coordination committee comprising noted intellectuals and leftist leaders who had recently joined the MQM. Nine of the 12 members are stationed in Pakistan.

Prof Dr Hassan Zafar Arif along with several other members of the committee held a press conference on Oct 15, where he attempted to clarify the stance of London-based group and rejected the minus-one formula. He also criticised Farooq Sattar and other leaders of MQM, Pakistan.

The party has been in hot water since Altaf Hussain’s incendiary Aug 22 speech, after which the ARY News office was attacked.

Following the incident, the MQM’s Pakistan coordination committee sidelined Altaf Hussain. In response, the London-based coordination committee dissolved the organisational structure in Pakistan and expelled the prominent leaders, including Farooq Sattar. In a tit-for-tat reaction, MQM Pakistan announced the expulsion of Nadeem Nusrat and other London-based leaders from the party.