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Pakistan Charges Political Leader With Treason

Pakistani policemen arrest an activist of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) political party during a clash in Karachi on August 22.

Pakistani authorities have charged the exiled leader of a major political party with treason and inciting terrorism after violent protests in Karachi.

Authorities on August 23 charged Altaf Hussain, the leader of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), of treason for inciting violence and using anti-Pakistan slogans during a recent speech.

Crowds of MQM workers attacked the ARY News television office on August 22, firing shots and smashing the premises after Hussain gave a telephone address to supporters from London in which he castigated the media for not covering a six-day hunger strike.

The workers later clashed with police outside, leaving one person dead and several wounded.

Law-enforcement agencies accuse MQM of racketeering, abduction, torture, and murder in its bid to maintain power. The party denies any link to crime.

Based on reporting by AFP and Dawn