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Pak court issues notice to MQM’s Altaf Hussain

A Pakistani court on Friday issued notices to the federal government, Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain and the country’s electronic media regulator, asking for their response to a petition seeking punishment for the MQM leader over charges of treason.

Fayaz Ahmad, a lawyer linked to Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf, filed the petition in the Lahore High Court on Thursday.

He asked the court to direct authorities to take action against Hussain for demanding the secession of Karachi from Pakistan.

Ahmad said Hussain was a foreigner and had threatened the Election Commission, the establishment, media and politicians during a speech to MQM workers on 12 May.

MQM founder Hussain has lived in the United Kingdom in self-exile since 1992 after surviving an assassination attempt in Pakistan.

Hussain had also demanded that Karachi should be separated from Pakistan if MQM’s mandate was not accepted, the petition said.

‘Hussain’s demand is not only against the Constitution but the ideology of Pakistan,’ Ahmad said. He further said that the Political Party Order of 2002 allowed only Pakistani citizens to form an association or a political party. Therefore, Hussain, being a British national, could not claim to be the chief of a political party registered in Pakistan, he contended. According to Article 5 of the Constitution, loyalty to the state was a basic duty of every citizen.
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