KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Wednesday dismissed a petition seeking removal of a ban on media coverage of Muttahida Qaumi Movement founder Altaf Hussain.

After hearing parties concerned, a two-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M. Shaikh turned down the petition as the petitioner remained unable to satisfy the bench about maintainability of his petition.

Citing the secretaries of ministries of interior, law and information and Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) as respondents, petitioner Mohammad Aftabuddin Baqai submitted that after returning to Pakistan he came to know about a ban on media coverage of speeches of the MQM founder.

He said that the London-based Hussain had already apologised in respect of his Aug 22, 2016 controversial speech.

He contended that the party founder had not been convicted on the ground of hate speech in the United Kingdom as well as in Pakistan and sought a directive for the respondents to remove the ban on broadcast of his speeches and statements.

It may be recalled that around eight years ago Pemra had imposed the ban on the broadcast of statements, speeches and images of Mr Hussain in compliance with an order of the Lahore High Court passed in 2015.

Published in Dawn, April 13th, 2023

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