KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) issued on Friday notices to the provincial home department on a petition challenging the detention of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) – London leader Prof Hasan Zafar Arif under the Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance (MPO).
It also issued a notice to the provincial advocate-general to file comments of the authorities concerned by December 7.
The judges were informed that Rangers personnel had taken Prof Zafar Arif into custody outside the Karachi Press Club on October 22.
In October this year, some party leaders had distanced themselves from MQM chief Altaf Hussain and formed their own faction – MQM-Pakistan led by Dr Farooq Sattar.
Days later, other leaders had gathered at the press club to show their confidence in Altaf, who had been leading the party for decades while in self-imposed exile.
The court was informed that initially Prof Zafar was detained under the MPO for one month but his detention has been further extended.
The lawyer argued that the veteran leader is aged and sick and, therefore, needs proper medical care.
It was contended that continuous detention of Prof Zafar was against his fundamental rights. If there is any case against him, the detainee should be presented in the court of law, the lawyer maintained.
The court was pleaded to declare the detention unlawful and order the provincial authorities to release him forthwith.
After hearing initial arguments, the bench issued notices to home department and other authorities to file their comments by December 7.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 26th, 2016.