KARACHI - An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Saturday indicted Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) leaders Farooq Sattar and Amir Khan along with 60 others for facilitating attacks on media houses and hate speech by the MQM founder on August 22, 2016.

The court summoned the prosecution witnesses after the accused denied charges, on December 1.

MQM-P leaders Farooq Sattar, Aamir Khan, Shahid Pasha, Qamar Mansoor, Kanwar Naveed Jameel and others appeared before the court. The court framed charges against them in two cases. The accused denied the charges and opted to contest the case.

According to the charges, the tent set up outside the Karachi Press Club was provided by Farooq Sattar and other leaders of the party like Amir Khan, Kunwar Naveed and Shahid Pasha. They were charged with providing compact discs that provoked the workers to attack private properties.

The charge-sheet stated that Amir Khan gave a speech on August 22, 2016 that provoked club-wielding party workers and they vandalised offices of various media houses.

Refusing the charges, the indicted MQM leaders stated before the court that they are true Pakistanis and chanted pro-state slogans after the August 22 episode.

Earlier, the court had declared MQM founder Altaf Hussain, Haider Abbas Rizvi, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and Salman Mujahid proclaimed offenders in these cases. A provocative speech was made by Hussain on August 22, 2016.

A red warrant was also issued against MQM founder Altaf Hussain for delivering anti-state speeches and provoking his followers to rise against the state.

According to the charges, the London-based MQM chief delivered an anti-Pakistan speech on August 22 that triggered riots in Karachi.

Addressing MQM workers protesting outside the Karachi Press Club against “enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings of workers” on Aug 22, 2016, Hussain had raised slogans against Pakistan. Soon after the speech, violence broke out in the city.

Following the court proceedings, Farooq Sattar talked to the media and again termed such cases as political motivated. He said that the cases were not based on constitutional grounds. He said the government should clarify its policy on the matter.

Sattar alleged that the prosecution had produced fake witnesses and the allegations were baseless. The prosecution has nothing to produce in the court as there is no solid evidence.

Replying to a query about his link to the speech given by Altaf Hussain on August 22, 2016, he said he parted ways with his party founder the night he made statements against Pakistan. He said those statements were unacceptable.