LAHORE: The Lahore High Court has sought a report from the federal government and the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) on implementation of a ban imposed on live telecast of speeches of Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain.

A three-judge LHC bench headed by Justice Syed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi and comprising Justice Mazhar Iqbal Sidhu and Justice Erum Sajjad Gull also sought on Monday a report from the federal interior ministry about nationality of the MQM chief.

The bench was hearing petitions filed by Advocate Aftab Virk, Abdullah Malik and others seeking a ban on media coverage of Altaf Hussain’s speeches because of his alleged remarks against state institutions, including the army and Rangers.

They also called for proceedings against the MQM chief under Article 6 of the Constitution and disqualification of lawmakers of the party.

The petitioners argued that Mr Hussain was a British national and no foreign citizen could head a political party in Pakistan under the Political Parties Act. He had no right to deliver speeches on television channels in Pakistan, they said.

A law officer informed the court that Pemra had already banned the live telecast of Mr Hussain’s speeches.

The bench issued notices to the federal government, Pemra, interior secretary and others. It sought assistance of the attorney general and the advocate general of Punjab in the matter at the next hearing on Sept 7.

Published in Dawn, September 1st, 2015

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