LAHORE - Lahore High Court Justice Khalid Mehmood Khan on Thursday issued notice to the federal government to submit reply on a petition seeking ban on media coverage of the political speeches delivered by MQM Chief Altaf Hussain from the UK.

Advocate Fayyaz Ahmad Mehar of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Lawyers Forum filed the petition and also sought prosecution of the MQM chief under treason charges for demanding secession of Karachi from the country. The petitioner argued that Altaf was a foreigner and in an address to his party workers had threatened the election commission, establishment and politicians, demanding secession of Karachi.  He said that the respondent’s demand was not only unconstitutional but also against the ideology of the country. The lawyer said Political Party Order 2002, allowed only citizens of Pakistan to form an association or a political party. Hence, he said, the respondent being a British national could not claim to be the chief of a political party registered in Pakistan.

The petitioner asked the court to ban the respondent from claiming as chief of the MQM and should be brought back to country to treat him in accordance with the law. The judge issued notice to the government to submit reply and adjourned hearing until April 15.

LHC DIRECTS GOVT TO FILL VACANT POST OF PG TILL MARCH 13TH: The Lahore High Court on Thursday directed the government to fill the vacant post of Prosecutor General Punjab till March 13th.

Special Bench headed by Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial heard the petition questioning inadequate security measures at the court premises especially the subordinate courts.

As proceedings started, Additional Prosecutor General Mazhar Sher Awan appeared before the bench and it was transpired to the Chief justice that the office of the PGP had been lying vacant for the last five months.

At this, Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial took serious notice of vacant post of Prosecutor General Punjab with directions to the government to fill the vacant post.

Chief Justice expressed dismay over the functioning of the Prosecution Department which was without its head.

He observed that the court would pass its order if the government failed to appoint the PGP by the next date of hearing.

The judge also directed the Additional Prosecutor General to submit a progress report about implementation of MoUs and SoPs signed between police and prosecution departments.

Advocate Kashif Pasha had filed the petition against inefficiency on part of authorities concerned about inadequate security measures on the court premises resulting in continuous untoward incidents involving assassination of not only litigants rather lawyers and at times even lives of the presiding officers of the court were at risk

The petitioner said during the last few years killing of opponents in judicial custody and on premises of courts had become a common practice. The petitioner requested that it was prime duty of police to protect citizens of Pakistan especially who had been kept in judicial custody, lawyers and judges but police had miserably failed in this regard.