London, Aug. 23 : A day after he referred to Pakistan as "a cancer for the entire world", Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain on Tuesday apologised to Army Chief General Raheel Sharif and Director General (DG) Rangers Major General Bilal Akber for his vitriolic speech.
MQM spokesperson Wasay Jalil, shared the apology statement by Hussain on Twitter. "From the depth of heart, I beg pardon from my remarks against Pakistan, the establishment, including General Raheel Sharif and DG Rangers," the Dawn quoted Hussain's statement as saying.
"I was under severe mental stress over extra-judicial arrests and precarious condition of my workers sitting at the hunger strike camp," he said.
Parts of Hussain's speech that went viral on social media showed that while addressing MQM workers protesting outside the Karachi Press Club against "enforced disappearances and extra-judicial killings", he raised anti- Pakistan slogans and also called the country "a cancer for [the] entire world".
"Being a Pakistani, I assure the Pakistani people, establishment, army, ISI, all higher authorities and leaders that I will never use such words again," said Hussain .
He also urged authorities to "end all steps taken against MQM". "For God's sake, don't cut MQM from the national mainstream," he added. Regretting the violence against media houses by the party workers aftermath his speech, he asked the authorities to release of MQM leaders who were arrested.
Media houses were ransacked by the MQM party workers on Monday evening after listening to his provocative speech before clashing with police, leaving at least one person dead and over half a dozen injured.
The MQM headquarters 'Nine Zero' were sealed and senior party leaders were taken into custody by Sindh Rangers for allegedly inciting violence in the metropolis.
The party's official website has also been shut down At least nine MQM leaders, including Dr Farooq Sattar, the party's most senior parliamentarian were subsequently detained.
MQM, a political party has dominated Karachi's politics for decades even though its leader, Hussain, lives in self-exile in north London.