KARACHI – MQM chief Altaf Hussain, who has been issued a contempt of court notice and asked to appear in person in the Supreme Court on January 7, will not be coming to Pakistan for security reasons, instead his lawyer will submit a reply on his behalf in the SC, Sources said on Sunday that there was no way Altaf Hussain could return to Pakistan as he faced serious threats to his life here.

However, as a mark of respect, “which he and the MQM accord to the judiciary”, the lawyers would certainly file a reply, they added. They pointed out that if the MQM chief came to Pakistan after security assurances, as was done by Sardar Akhtar Mengal, there would be several petitions in the court for placing his name on the ECL.

Meanwhile, MQM Deputy Convener Farooq Sattar has said his party had the highest regard for the Supreme Court. However, it was no contempt to demand one’s rights, he said. Addressing a rally in support of Altaf Hussain outside the Karachi Press Club on Sunday, Sattar said all of his party leaders and the people of Karachi would appear before the court on January 7 for the hearing of contempt of court notice issued against party chief Altaf.

The Supreme Court last Friday issued show-cause notice to Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain for using contemptuous and derogatory language against the judiciary and directed him to appear before the court to explain his position on January 7. A three-member SC bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry issued the notice under Article 204 read with Section 3 of Contempt of Court Ordinance 2003, while hearing the Karachi law and order case. It asked the MQM chief to appear before the court and explain why contempt proceeding should not be initiated against him for criticising the judiciary.

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