Saturday October 16, 2021

ATC to frame charges on MQM leaders on Sept 25 in incendiary speech cases

September 05, 2021
ATC to frame charges on MQM leaders on Sept 25 in incendiary speech cases

An anti-terrorism court (ATC) has fixed the date of September 25 to frame charges on leadership of the former Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), when the party had not divided into its Pakistan, London and other factions, in cases pertaining to 2015’s incendiary speech of MQM founder Altaf Hussain against the state.

The ATC-I judge on Saturday ordered MQM-Pakistan Senior Deputy Convener Amir Khan and his rival MQM-Nazryati’s chief Farooq Sattar among others to ensure their presence on the next hearing so that the cases could proceed towards indictment.

The other accused include Sindh Assembly MPA Khawaja Izharul Hasan, former Karachi mayor Wasim Akhtar, former Sindh minister for industries Rauf Siddiqui and former MPA Salman Baloch.

At the outset of the hearing, some of the accused could not make it to the court and their attorney Irshad Ali moved an application on their behalf seeking condonation on the account of rainy weather in the city.

The judge approved the application by the defence counsel but directed him to ensure his clients’ presence in the court on the next date, observing that the cases had already seen a fair share of delays.

The court has to frame charge on the accused in one case registered on the complaint of a Rangers official at the Azizabad police station and amended charge in two cases lodged by

private persons at the Sacchal and Malir City police stations.

The Azizabad case pertains to the July 2015 incendiary speech of the MQM founder, in which he lashed out at then Sindh Rangers director general Major General Bilal Akbar, levelling stark allegations against him, his institution and the Pakistan Army.

The Malir City case pertains to a similar speech but with a different context as the MQM chief also talked indecently in that speech about the human reproductive process. The MQM leadership was booked in all these cases for facilitating these speeches.