An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) on Monday directed police to get in touch with the relevant authorities to put the names of Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) leaders Farooq Sattar, Khalid Maqbool and Amir Liaquat on the Exit Control List.

The instructions were issued after the police repeatedly failed to produce the absconders in recent hearings of five identical cases regarding the facilitation of hate speech and sedition.

The court also issued fresh non-bailable warrants against the accused and ordered the police to arrest and produce them in court for the next hearing of the case, scheduled for March 13.

The ATC had first issued non-bailable arrest warrants for Farooq Sattar and MQM founder Altaf Hussain on September 28, 2016.

Sattar and the others have been charged with listening to, organising and facilitating a speech made by Hussain in which he railed against the military establishment and security agencies. Hussain was also accused of inciting MQM workers to attack the offices of two media houses in the same speech.

About 2,000 unnamed MQM activists were also termed absconders in the charge sheet.

On Aug 22, the day of the speech, Sindh Rangers had taken Sattar and MQM leader Khawaja Izharul Hasan into custody from outside Karachi Press Club.

The two leaders had intended to address a press conference in connection with the attack on ARY News; however, as they were about to start, Rangers officials arrived at the site and asked both leaders to accompany them to Rangers headquarters.

The two were released after eight hours in custody.

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