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Plea to exempt Altaf from appearing in court

January 05, 2013

MQM leader Farooq Sattar.-File Photo

KARACHI: With the Supreme Court set to take up contempt notice against Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain on Monday, the party requested the court on Friday to exempt him from personally appearing before the bench seized with the issue.

MQM leader Farooq Sattar filed a petition on behalf of Mr Hussain in the court’s Karachi registry through his council Dr Farogh Naseem.

Quoting newspaper reports, the petition said the MQM chief faced threats from extremist outfits, adding that his followers and the party voters were worried about his safety. They had repeatedly requested him not to come to Pakistan.

The petition also referred to the tragic assassinations of Benazir Bhutto and Bashir Ahmed Bilour.

It requested the court to exempt Mr Hussain from personally appearing in the court vis-a-vis its Dec 14 order and allow Dr Sattar to represent him as his attorney or through Dr Naseem.

The apex court had issued a contempt of court notice to Mr Hussain and directed him to personally appear before it on Jan 7.

The court had observed that in a telephonic address from London to a public gathering in Karachi on Dec 2 the MQM chief had made contemptuous and threatening remarks against the court and its judges for issuing an order about fresh delimitation of constituencies in Karachi.