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Witness deposes against MQM-P leaders in incendiary speech case

Karachi

January 22, 2021

An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Thursday recorded the testimony of a witness against Muttahida Qaumi Movement–Pakistan (MQM-P) leaders in a case pertaining to the August 2016 incendiary speech of the party founder Altaf Hussain.

The witness, whose identity has been kept secret, was produced by the prosecution to give evidence about the involvement of the accused in the controversial speech in which Altaf had called out people against the state.

Police had booked several FIRs against then MQM leadership, including Farooq Sattar, Amir Khan, Rauf Siddiqui, Wasim Akhtar and Shahid Pasha among others, for facilitating the speech delivered over phone from London where the MQM chief has been living in self-exile.

The ATC ordered the witness to appear again on January 28 for the cross-examination by the defence side. It ordered both the sides to ensure their presence on the next hearing

According to the prosecution, the MQM founder uttered controversial remarks about the country and allegedly incited his party workers to resort to violence during his speech on August 22, 2016. His party was staging a demonstration against a ban on his media appearance. One person was killed, several injured, and a police mobile and motorcycles set on fire allegedly by the charged protestors after the speech.

Soon after these violent incidents, a crackdown was launched by the authorities against the party which culminated in party splitting in the factions of the MQM-Pakistan and the MQM-London, which is a pro-Altaf Hussain faction and faces a blanket ban on its activities.

The cases were registered at different police stations in the city under the sections 147, 148, 149, 186, 353, 324, 302, 435, 436, 337, 123A, 124A, 109, 114, 427, 506B and 395 of the Pakistan Penal Code read with the sections 6 and 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act. Hussain has been declared a proclaimed offender in all the cases.