The Muttahida Qaumi Movement appeared to be on a collision course with the superior judiciary on Sunday when its leaders declared that hundreds of thousands of people from Karachi and other parts of the country would “appear before the apex court” on Jan 7, vowing that MQM chief Altaf Hussain ‘will never go to the Supreme Court’ to comply with a contempt notice.
Although the MQM had distanced itself from Saturday’s unannounced strike in Karachi and other urban areas of Sindh as well as scores of demonstrations, it held a big public meeting on Sunday to openly criticise and condemn the decision of the Supreme Court to issue a contempt notice against Mr Hussain.
Carrying Mr Hussain’s portraits and placards inscribed with demands for withdrawal of the notice, a large number of MQM workers, including women and elders, converged outside the Karachi Press Club and shouted anti-judiciary slogans.
The rally was led by Dr Farooq Sattar, Anis Qaimkhani and Nasreen Jalil.
In what was seen as an attempt to put pressure on the judiciary, Dr Sattar said hundreds of thousands of people from across the country and all MQM leaders would appear before the SC on Jan 7 in response to the contempt notice.
DELIMITATION: He also made it clear that the MQM would not cooperate with the administration in any Karachi-specific delimitation exercise unless a census preceded it.
He called for carrying out delimitation across the country.
The MQM leader said delimitation and door-to-door verification of voters were jobs of the Election Commission, but if the apex court had to do these tasks, the ECP should be wound up.
Participants of the rally raised their hands to support Dr Sattar’s demand that the contempt notice against Mr Hussain be withdrawn and a reference be sent against a judge of the superior judiciary to the Supreme Judicial Council for using the word ‘monopoly’.
Dr Sattar went on to say that nothing was denied or contradicted in the press about the use of the word ‘monopoly’. “No law or the Constitution empowers any judge to describe popular mandate as monopoly.”
He said that if someone wanted to snatch the Muttahida’s mandate, he should come out in the open.
Referring to the attack on a PAF base in Peshawar, he asked the Chief Justice of Pakistan to take suo motu notice and order a house-to-house search in the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhawa for recovery of illicit arms and ammunition.
Waseem Aftab, an MQM leader, declared that Mr Hussain would never go to the Supreme Court, but his ‘millions of followers’ would march on Islamabad.
Another leader said every worker and leader of the MQM was ready to face contempt of court notices.