KARACHI: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) held a protest on Sunday against the media ban on party chief Altaf Hussain.
A number of party workers and supporters including women and children participated in the demonstration. They were carrying party flags, placards and banners inscribed with slogans such as “Stop Violation of Freedom of Expression”, “Free Speech is a Civil Right”, “We Reject Illegal Black out of Altaf Hussain”.
At a press conference on Saturday, MQM’s lawmaker in the National Assembly, Kunwar Naveed Jamil, had announced a countrywide protest against the media blackout on their party chief. A court had banned Altaf’s speeches, interviews and pictures about five months ago following a controversial speech against the Pakistani Army.
Addressing the demonstration, MQM’s senior leader Dr Farooq Sattar said the mass gathering at Quaid-e-Azam’s Mausoleum proved they are against the non-democratic, unconstitutional and biased decision to ban the party chief’s coverage..
“No law gives right to any state or institution to stop anyone from using his right of freedom of speech,” he said while addressing the participants. “From the last five months, MQM chief is facing the ban under which print and electronic media have been restricted to carry any statement, speech, photograph or video of Altaf Hussain.”
Various MQM leaders also spoke on the occasion and rejected the ban. They vowed that the protest would be expanded to the entire country.