ISLAMABAD – The International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) has contacted its British office and sought details of the legal status of Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) founder Altaf Hussain’s stay in Britain, it emerged on Saturday.

According to a report by Express Tribune, the move came after the government of Pakistan through the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) formally requested Interpol for the release of Hussain’s red warrant as he is wanted by courts with regard to different criminal activities.

Overall, this is the third attempt by PML-N led federal government to get red warrants for ALtaf who now leads MQM-London faction. Earlier, In June, Pakistani authorities moved interpol after fulfilling legal formalities.

A similar attempt was made in February which was not honoured by Interpol citing some legal hitches. In its response to the government move, Interpol had reportedly stated that “it does not intervene in political and religious matters of a state”.

Interpol also sought a clarification from the government over its request for the red warrant against Hussain, besides asking for details of sedition charges against him.

An Interpol notice is an international alert circulated to communicate information about crimes, criminals and threats from police in a member state or an authorised international entity to their counterparts around the world.

It is issued by the General Secretariat of Interpol at the request of a member country or an international tribunal based on a valid national arrest warrant however, the international body can not compel any member country to arrest an individual who is the subject of a Red Notice. Each member country decides for itself what legal value to give a Red Notice within their borders.

Sources privy to the developments opine that the government had attached more documents this time in a bid to leave no stone unturned for the red warrants that would certainly turn the political scenario more hostile for the already embattled MQM.

It bears mentioning that Karachi’s biggest party, arguably split into two factions after Altaf Hussain’s diatribe against the country on August 22, last year.

The Pakistan faction of the party is headed by Farooq Sattar whereas Altaf Hussain leads MQM-London chapter.