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LHC directed electronic and print media to blackout Altaf Hussain

08 September, 2015

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LAHORE: A full bench of the Lahore High Court on Monday directed the electronic and print media to completely blackout the activities of MQM chief Altaf Hussain, including hate speeches, any news regarding his activities and display of his picture.

The bench directed the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to completely blackout the activities of the MQM chief.

For the print media, the bench directed an additional advocate general of Punjab to convey this order to the Press Council of Pakistan chairman for immediate compliance.

The bench consisting of Justice Syed Mazhar Ali Akbar Naqvi, Justice Mazhar Iqbal Sidhu and Justice Erum Sajjad Gull held that there was sufficient material available on record to issue these directives.

The bench postponed until September 18 the hearing of the case. An additional attorney general undertook that requisite report and comments would be submitted in spirit of the previous order of the court. During the hearing, the bench also sought a report from the Interior Ministry on the status of Altaf Hussain’s nationality.

It issued the directives on three identical petitions moved by Maqsood Awan, Abullah Malik and Aftab Virk, seeking ban on media coverage of Altaf Hussain’s speeches in wake of his statements against state institutions, including the army and Rangers.

The petitioners also sought proceedings under Article 6 of the constitution against the MQM chief and disqualification of his party’s parliamentarians.

The legal adviser of PEMRA informed the court that a directive had already been issued on May 1 to all television channels to stop airing hate speeches.

Earlier, the petitioner had submitted before the court the CDs containing speeches made by Altaf Hussain.

The petitioners submitted that Altaf Hussain and eight of his party leaders, including Babar Ghouri, Farooq Sattar and Waseem Akhtar, delivered speeches against the integrity of the country and the Pakistan Army in different talk shows on private TV channels.

They said that all these MQM members were tarnishing the image of Pakistan across the world. They said that these speeches were tantamount to treason, but so far the government had failed to take action against them.

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