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The interior ministry on Tuesday gave its approval for the issuance of a red warrant against Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) supremo Altaf Hussain, DawnNews reported.

The red warrant is an international notice sent to the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) seeking the arrest and extradition of an individual.

The MQM founder is wanted in various cases that include charges of terrorism and incitement to violence, among other offences.

The approval for the red warrant was issued apparently in compliance with the orders of an anti-terrorism court, which is hearing three identical cases against Hussain pertaining to his Aug 22 anti-state speech.

Police had also charged MNA Kanwar Naveed Jameel, Qamar Mansoor and Shahid Pasha in the three cases for allegedly listening to and facilitating the speech.

They had additionally named Hussain, Dr Farooq Sattar, Khawaja Izharul Hasan, Dr Amir Liaquat Hussain and other MQM leaders as absconders.

FIRs for the three cases had been lodged on the complaints of three private persons.

In its last hearing of the cases, the court had issued non-bailable warrants for the arrest of the absconders, and directed the investigating officer to approach the interior ministry and secure red warrants for the MQM supremo's arrest through Interpol.

Following Hussain's Aug 22 diatribe, a large number of cases were filed against the party chief in Karachi, Quetta and Gilgit-Biltistan region. Anti-terrorism courts hearing these cases have also issued separate non-bailable warrants against the MQM chief.