ISLAMABAD (Staff Report) – The Supreme Court of Pakistan has lifted ban on Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Chief Altaf Hussain’s broadcast of speeches and statements.
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The hearing was conducted by a two member bench headed by Justice Aijaz Afzal yesterday.
MQM lawyer Asma Jahangir adopted the stance that Lahore High Court (LHC) had banned the live speeches of Altaf Hussain which is against his basic rights and freedom of speech.
On court’s inquiry, Asma Jahangir told that LHC’s order was issued on September 7 and the judge stated that the issue will be resolved if Altaf Hussain apologise for the mistake.
She said that MQM chief submitted a written apology but the case was still pending.
Justice Qazi Faiz Esa stated that under Article-19 freedom of expression is also conditional and have legal restrictions.
On the other hand, Justice Aijaz Afzal remarked that the ban was for 15 days and was due to end on September 18 however the order expired automatically as no extension was made in it after conclusion.
The court while issuing notices to the parties adjourned the hearing till November 3.
After the hearing, Asma Jahangir told the media that ban on Altaf Hussain’s speeches and statements does not remain after the observation of Justice Aijaz Afzal.
Altaf Hussain has been living in self-imposed exile in Britain since 1992 military crackdown in Karachi and obtained British citizenship a decade later.
From his base in London, Hussain has been a towering figure within the party, addressing massive street rallies attended by tens of thousands in Karachi through a loudspeaker connected to a telephone.
Recently, several cases were registered against him at different police stations under terrorism laws over a speech criticising the military establishment.