Lahore, Dec. 23 : The federal government has told the Lahore High Court (LHC) that initiating treason proceedings against the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) founder Altaf Hussain for his anti-Pakistan remarks is a sensitive case and requires careful handling. In a one-page written reply submitted by Interior Secretary Arif Khan before the LHC, the government has said the matter ‘might be referred to an appropriate forum’ after consultations with the Attorney General of Pakistan, reports the Express Tribune.

The three-member LHC bench headed by Justice Mazahir Ali Naqvi was hearing a petition seeking proceedings against Hussain and other party leaders for alleged treason.  In the reply, the Interior Secretary submitted that the matter had been referred to the Law and Justice Ministry to solicit comments regarding invoking Article 6 of the Constitution against Hussain.  A meeting was held between the Law Minister, Interior Minister, Attorney General, Prime Minister’s special assistant and Interior Secretary to deliberate on this matter.

 The Law and Justice Ministry suggested that before making a reference to the Cabinet or the Prime Minister, the matter may be referred to the Attorney General because Hussain had a large number of followers in urban Sindh and enjoyed substantial political strength.  The secretary stated the matter was sensitive and required careful handling despite glaring violations of the law.

 The court gave the Attorney General three weeks to give his recommendations and adjourned the matter.  The petition filed has called for a lifetime ban on the live telecast of MQM leader’s speeches, alleging that Hussain’s speeches violated Article 5, which called for showing loyalty to the state and obedience to the Constitution.