‘Istehkam-e-Pakistan’ rally: SHC questions status of Pakistan Qaumi Movement

Published: January 18, 2017
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KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) questioned on Tuesday the status of the political group, named Pakistan Qaumi Movement (PQM), seeking permission for ‘Istehkam-e-Pakistan’ rally in Karachi – a call also supported by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) – London.

“Before notices [can] be issued, the petitioner [has] to satisfy on the maintainability of the petition as well as the status of the party,” ordered the chief justice, Sajjad Ali Shah, while heading a two-judge bench, adjourning the hearing till February 7.

He was hearing a petition filed by Syed Muhammad Iqbal Kazmi, who rose to fame for filing a petition that had accused the MQM’s chief, Altaf Hussain, and other leaders for the May 12, 2007, massacre in Karachi. Kazmi named the provincial home secretary, the Karachi commissioner and the deputy commissioners of the East and Central districts as respondents.

The petitioner told the judges that he is the chairperson of the PQM, which was duly registered with the Election Commission of Pakistan in 2012. He alleged that applications were filed with the respondents seeking prior permission for carrying out a rally in Karachi on January 21. He said he also wanted to launch a public contact campaign ahead of the rally as is the practice of other political groups. However, he alleged, the authorities were not granting permission for the rally. Kazmi said that his group had no differences with any political group yet they were receiving threats.

Therefore, he pleaded that the court direct the respondents to allow him to organise the rally.

However, instead of issuing notices to the respondents, the bench directed the petitioner to first satisfy the court on the maintainability of the petition as well as the status of the party. The hearing was fixed on February 7.

Earlier, Kazmi had sought a judicial inquiry into the killings of nearly 50 political workers, including lawyers, during the visit of then deposed chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to address the lawyers gathering on the SHC premises. After remaining confined within the airport premises for hours, Chaudhry had flown back to Islamabad as political workers had clashed on the streets.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 18th, 2017.

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