Lahore: Exiled MQM chief Altaf Hussain was on Friday served a notice by a court in response to a petition seeking his punishment over charges of treason for demanding the secession of Karachi city from Pakistan.
Fayaz Ahmad, a lawyer linked to Imran Khan`s Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf, filed the petition in the Lahore High Court yesterday.
He asked the court to direct authorities to take action against the London-based chief of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement for demanding secession of the MQM stronghold of Karachi from Pakistan in a speech.
The court also issued notices to the federal government and the country`s electronic media regulator, seeking their response to the petition.
Ahmad said Hussain was a foreigner and had threatened the Election Commission, the establishment, media and politicians during a speech to MQM workers on May 12.
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 but the language and words used by Hussain in his speech were against the ideology of Pakistan, Ahmad contended.
He said Hussain should be restrained from claiming that he is the chief of MQM and brought back to Pakistan so that action could be taken against him in accordance with the law.
He also asked the court to direct the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority to bar all television channels from airing addresses and speeches by Hussain.
The High Court will hear the case after two weeks.