GILGIT: An anti-terrorism court in Gilgit-Baltistan yesterday sentenced Muttahida Qaumi Movement Chief Altaf Hussain to 81 years in person. The court also issued orders to confiscate the MQM chief’s property over his anti-state speeches. Announcing the verdict, ATC Judge Raja Shahbaz Khan directed the MQM chief to submit a fine of Rs2.4 million in the court and ordered the Sindh Inspector General of Police to produce Altaf before the court. The court also directed the commissioner Karachi to attach and auction the property of the convicted proclaimed offender, Altaf, as provided under section 19(10) of anti-terrorism act 1997 and present report before the court within 90 days.

An FIR was registered against Altaf Hussain under sections related to treason and rebellion against the state of Pakistan in Airport Thana in Gilgit after the MQM chief made inflammatory remarks against law enforcement agencies, followed by a plea to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) and the United Nations (UN) to send their troops to Karachi. A total of nine FIRs were registered by concerned citizens of GB against the MQM chief in various police stations of the province on charges of treason, incitement to violence and speeches against the state and armed forces.

On July 28, 2015, the ATC had issued ‘non-bailable arrest warrants’ for Altaf for using derogatory language against the armed forces. Earlier in May, after facing strong criticism over his comments regarding the army, MQM chief Altaf had apologised if his words had “hurt national security institutions and patriotic people.” Altaf’s controversial remarks against the law enforcement agencies had sparked country-wide outrage, with the national and provincial assemblies passing condemnation resolutions against the UK-based leader of the party. Further, numerous FIRs had also been filed against him in various police stations across the country, demanding an arrest of the MQM leader, who has been living in a self-imposed exile in London for more than two decades.