ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition against Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Chief Altaf Hussain over his May 12 controversial speech.

The petition was filed by Barrister Zafarullah of Watan Party after Altaf Hussain made a controversial statement in a live address to his party workers on May 12. The petitioner requested the apex court to declare the MQM chief an alien enemy of Pakistan for demanding secession of Karachi in his speech.

“We are not in a position to admit the petition. The petitioner may proceed in accordance with law and approach other available legal forums,” the court said.

A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, held that during the course of proceedings, Barrister Zafarullah Khan, representing the petitioner, was asked to submit a notification duly issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan declaring Altaf Hussain the elected head of MQM, but he could not do so.

“A notification obtained from the ECP and presented in the SC by the barrister showed that Dr Farooq Sattar was duly elected deputy convener of MQM. As the petitioner had no claim or grievance against Sattar, the court would not entertain the petition,” the bench further held.

Barrister Zafarullah had argued that the slain leader of MQM, Dr Imran Farooq, was an elected convener of the party. He had urged the apex court to declare Altaf Hussain an alien enemy of Pakistan, stop his telephonic speeches from London and ban MQM as a political party.

Making the federal law secretary, Altaf Hussain, MQM secretary general, ECP and Pemra respondents, the petitioner Party prayed to the court to take serious notice of the speech delivered by Altaf on May 12, 2013.  “All the collaborators of Altaf Hussain are to be punished under High Treason (Punishment) Act 1973 and the chief of MQM is to be brought to Pakistan through Interpol for trial of murder cases against him, including the one in which he was declared an absconder in 1990,” the petitioner had argued.

The petitioner had contended that MQM had been operating against the sovereignty and integrity of Pakistan, so it should be banned. Barrister Zafarullah had said that no political party could be allowed to indulge in anti-Pakistan activities. He contended that Altaf Hussain, a British national, living in London, in his telephonic address on May 12, 2013, at Nine Zero had demanded secession of Karachi.

He had further stated that the apex court had disqualified many parliamentarians on the basis of holding dual nationality. Under Political Parties Order 2002, a dual nationality holder could not become the head of a party, he had contended.