LAHORE, May 23: The Lahore High Court issued on Thursday notices to the federal government, Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority and others on a petition seeking prosecution of Mr Hussain under treason charges for, according to the petitioner, demanding secession of Karachi from the country.

In his petition, Advocate Fayaz Ahmad Mehar of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf also sought a court order for Pemra to stop all TV channels from airing addresses of Mr Hussain.

The court advised the petitioner to also implead the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority in the case because it had a role in providing satellite link to TV channels for live coverages from outside the country.

Advocate Mehar said he would file a civil miscellaneous application at the next hearing. He alleged that in his May 11 address over phone from London to leaders and workers of his party, Mr Hussain had threatened the Election Commission, establishment, media and politicians and also called for separating Karachi from the country. He said the demand was not only against the constitution but also the ideology of Pakistan.

Advocate Mehar said the Political Party Order 2002 allowed only the citizens of Pakistan to form an association or a political party and, therefore, Mr Hussain, being a British national, could not claim to be the chief of a political party registered in Pakistan.

He said that according to Article 5 of the constitution, the loyalty to the state was the basic duty of every citizen. The language and words used by the MQM chief in his May 11 speech were against the ideology of Pakistan, he added.

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