The MQM emerged as the third largest political party in the national assembly of Pakistan during 1988 and 1990 elections. The MQM secured representation in the parliamentary elections held in the northern areas of Pakistan comprising Kashmir& Gilgit-Baltistan.Since 1992 Hussain has lived in the United Kingdom in self exile after surviving an assassination attempt in Pakistan.
Altaf Hussain was politically active from a very young age. While attending Karachi University, on 11 June 1978, Hussain founded the “All Pakistan Mohajir Student Organization” APMSO. This day is celebrated as APMSO foundation day. The APMSO was formed as a student rights group campaigning for the rights of Muhajir students at Karachi University. It later gave birth to the Muhajir Qaumi Movement (MQM), which transformed into Muttahida Qaumi Movement in 1997.Before creating the APMSO, Hussain served as General Secretary and later as President of the National Student’s Action Committee at Karachi University.
He moved to London in 1992 and later on got UK citizenship. Since 1992 Hussain operating and managing his party from London and is quite famous for his telephonic live addresses to big crowds.