Karachi: At a fiery press conference, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leaders and activists claimed on Sunday that instead of Altaf Hussain, millions of Karachi's residents will appear before the Supreme Court of Pakistan on January 7.
MQM coordination committee deputy convener Dr Farooq Sattar, federal minister for ports and shipping Babar Ghuari, and other leaders claimed that the apex court's decision to serve contempt of court notice to Altaf, and to summon him on January 7,
Carrying placards, banners and posters, MQM activists demanded that the court withdraw the notice, as it was against the mandate of the people of Karachi. Talking about an apex court's judge's remarks that constituencies in Karachi needed to be redrawn, Dr Sattar said that the process should be undertaken throughout the country. The census needs to be completed before delimitation, stressed the MQM leader.
A five-member bench of the apex court, led by Justice Anwer Zaheer Jamali, had ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on November 29 to redraw constituencies in Karachi. A separate bench also asked the ECP for fresh door-to-door voter verification in Karachi with the help of the army and the Frontier Corps. Altaf had called the directives "unconstitutional" and "undemocratic".
The ECP then called a meeting of political parties on November 30 to get them on board on the delimitation issue. While representatives of all other parties, including those of the ruling Pakistan People's Party, came out in favour of the apex court's directives. MQM legislators, however, had walked out of that meeting after demanding to see the "exact order" of the apex court after which the ECP had convened that meeting. On Sunday, Sattar criticised the ECP for proceeding with redrawing constituencies.