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Timeline: MQM and the judiciary

December 14, 2012

altaf hussain, mqm
MQM chief Altaf Hussain. -File photo

In light of the recent notice issued by the Supreme Court to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief, Altaf Hussain, takes a look at previous interactions between the MQM and the judiciary.

Karachi constituencies case

January 9, 2013: The Supreme Court admitted for hearing a petition filed by the MQM against the fresh delimitation of Karachi’s constituencies before the upcoming general elections.

Altaf Hussain contempt of court case

January 7, 2013: The Supreme Court of Pakistan accepted an unconditional apology tendered by MQM chief Altaf Hussain for his adverse remarks aimed at the apex court.

January 4, 2013: MQM filed a petition in the Supreme Court to request exemption for party chief Altaf Hussain from appearing in the apex court on January 7.

December 14, 2012: The Supreme Court issued a contempt of court notice to MQM chief, Altaf Hussain and issued summons for him for January 7 along with the party's deputy convener Dr Farooq Sattar. The notice was issued during the hearing of the case regarding Karachi's law and order situation.

The court had been sent excerpts from a speech made by Hussain, which were said to have contained derogatory remarks against certain judges.

December 5, 2012: The Supreme Court asked the ECP to carry out door-to-door verification of voters with help from the army and the Frontier Corps.

The court had earlier suggested that the ECP relaunch the verification process in Karachi to help identify unscrupulous and criminal elements responsible for the breakdown of law and order in the country’s largest city. However, the idea was opposed by the MQM who said the party would only support the move if it was carried out across the country.

December 2, 2012: MQM chief Altaf Hussain, speaking from London, hit out at the Supreme Court's order and termed the apex court's ruling regarding fresh delimitation of constituencies in Karachi as an attempt to 'snatch his party's mandate', adding that the people of Karachi would never allow such 'conspiracy' to succeed.

He further said that MQM had great respect for the judiciary and would have no objection if a census was held before the delimitation in accordance with the law.

He said his party accepted fresh delimitation of constituencies but that measure would be “in contravention of law and the Delimitation of Constituencies Act, 1974” if it is done to stop a single party from having a monopoly.

He also questioned why the same orders had not been issued in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where the law and order situations were similar to that of Karachi.

November 26, 2012: The Supreme Court issued a notice to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) stating that constituencies in Karachi should be delimited to include mixed population in order to avoid political polarisation and reduce ethnic strife.

May 12 case


May 2007: Over 50 people were killed and more than 100 vehicles torched during the visit of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, to Karachi who had arrived in the city to address a lawyers’ gathering.

The City Courts police registered an FIR against the Sindh government and the leaders of the MQM regarding the incidents of May 12 in Karachi during which 14 MQM workers were also killed.

September 2007: MQM ordered its workers and supporters, who had witnessed the incidents on May 12, to attend all future proceedings related to the May 12 case and furnish personal affidavits.

October 2011: The Sindh High Court restored to its original position a constitutional petition seeking a judicial inquiry into the incidents of May 12 filed by civil rights campaigner Syed Iqbal Kazmi, who had previously withdrawn it in November 2007.

November 3, 2012: The Sindh High Court asked the lawyer of the petitioner who had filed a case regarding the May 12 incident to explain why the case, which had been earlier dismissed, should be reopened.

Major Kalimuddin case

June 20, 1991: A Pakistan Army Major, Kalimuddin, went to Landhi in a jeep at 9:20 PM on a fact-finding mission when a group of 15-18 boys surrounded the jeep and forced him and his subordinates to come out and beat them up after which they were taken to a building known as 'white house' where Kalimuddin and his subordinates were tortured and given electric shocks. They were freed after the police arrived at the scene.

1994: A special court convicted Ashfaque Chief, Javed Kazmi and Haji Jalal in 1994 and sentenced them to 30 years’ imprisonment and a fine of Rs 20,000 each. All others accused, including Altaf Hussain, were declared absconders and sentenced to 27 years in jail and a fine of Rs 30,000 each in absentia.

1998: The convicts challenged their conviction before the Sindh High Court and the case was found to have 'almost no legal evidence'.

Major Kalimuddin filed an appeal against the SHC decision in the Supreme Court and said there was enough evidence against the accused.

2007: The Sindh High Court dismissed the petition as withdrawn for non-prosecution as neither the petitioner nor the counsel was present.

Compiled by Tabinda Siddiqi/