Later he studied at the University of Karachi in the Department of Pharmacy and received his Bachelors degree.
As a young student Altaf Hussain had a strong resentment against the injustice, discrimination and inequality that was faced by the migrants who came to Pakistan during the Indo-Pak partition, also known as ‘Mohajirs’. He had immense hatred for the feudal system in the country and the fact that the top 2% of the country’s rich and powerful and corrupt elite decided the fate of the remaining 98% of the population. He had a firm belief that until and unless the common man is empowered and free, the institutions free from the corrupt practices of the powerful elite, the nation would not progress and the common man would not get his fair-share in the country.
He started his Political career when he was still studying Pharmacy at the University of Karachi where he formed the All Pakistan Mohajir Students Organization (APMSO) on June 11, 1978. Soon APMSO started gaining popularity amongst the Urdu-Speaking students and Mohajirs and were able to win 92 seats in college elections in 1980.
Altaf Hussain founded the MQM in 1984 to represent Mohajirs, Muslims who emigrated from India in 1947 following Partition of the Indian sub continent, and later campaigned for an end to feudalism and rights for the middle-class and the poor downtrodden masses of the Nation. APMSO was restructured as Mohajir Quami Movement on March 18, 1984 and on August 8, 1986.