May 11 remarks: SC wants to know Altaf’s legal standing

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ISLAMABAD: During Monday’s hearing of a petition relating to Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain’s statement of May 11, the Supreme Court directed the submission of a response on the party supremo’s legal standing in Pakistan.  A three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, has been hearing a petition filed by Barrister Zafarullah of the Watan Party which alleges that in an address over phone from London to his party’s leaders and workers at Nine Zero on the night of May 11, Hussain, a British national, had demanded Karachi’s secession from the country.

During today’s hearing, the petitioner told the bench that Hussain issued controversial statements which appeared to pose a national security challenge.

Upon which, the chief justice asked as to what was Hussain’s legal standing in the country.

Zafarullah said Hussain was the founder of MQM, adding that the party was registered with the Election Commission of Pakistan with the name of another key MQM leader Farooq Sattar.

In his response, Chief Justice Iftikhar said the court decided matters in accordance with the Constitution and the laws and directed the Zafarullah to resubmit an amended version of the petition within 10 days’ time.

Subsequently, the bench adjourned the hearing of the petition.