News Analysis |
The Supreme Court of Pakistan has finally indicted the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) lawmaker Dr. Amir Liaquat in contempt of court case on Wednesday. The apex court’s three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar rejected the lawmaker’s unconditional apology and indicted him under Article 204 of the Constitution.
According to the charges against Hussain, he had on March 9, 2017, violated an order of the court dated March 3, 2017. The court stated in the charge sheet that the MNA’s conduct, based on excerpts from his TV programme and his statement, was tantamount to disobeying, disregarding, and flouting the orders of the court. He was also charge-sheeted for obstructing, interfering, and prejudicing the process of law.
Analysts opine that Mr. Hussain is likely to be disqualified by the apex court during the next hearing.
Moreover, the court, referring to a statement made by Hussain, said it “tends to disrespect and ridicule this court, and thereby, you obstructed, interfered and prejudiced the process of law and due course of proceedings of this court. You, therefore, are guilty of committing contempt of the Supreme Court of Pakistan within the meaning of Article 204 of the Constitution […] read with section 3 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance, 2003, punishable under section 5 of the said Ordinance.”
It is worth mentioning here that on 11th September during a hearing of the case the CJP was extremely unhappy to watch some video clips played in the courtroom. Dr. Hussain was seen inciting violence and using derogatory language against the petitioners, a TV anchor Shahzeb Khanzada, Independent Media Corporation (Pvt) Ltd, Mir Ibrahim-ur-Rehman and Najam Aziz Sethi. “One cannot go about apologizing after committing contempt of court,” Justice Nisar observed.
He questioned whether a lawmaker could remain a member of National Assembly after being indicted in a contempt case. “They cannot [remain an MNA],” replied Shahab Sarki, the counsel for Hussain. According to the details, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) has issued 13 orders and also banned Mr. Hussain several times but he never stopped repeating abusive language against his rivals.
Background of the Case
The SC issued contempt of court notice to the leader of PTI for his abusive language. Dr. Hussain has “accused Geo TV anchor Shahzeb Khanzada of supporting blasphemy convicts,” the court was told on August 10th. The CJP noted that such people [like Dr. Hussain] should not be in the parliament. “He also levelled grave allegations against Najam Sethi,” the counsel added. “No one has the right to call anyone infidel or traitor.”
The Supreme Court of Pakistan has finally indicted the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) lawmaker Dr. Amir Liaquat in contempt of court case on Wednesday.
Dr. Hussain joined the PTI on March 19, 2018. He was, however, a critic of the PTI and its chairman in the past. He not only criticized the policies of the party but also attacked the personal life of Imran Khan. Dr. Hussain was also barred by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) in December 2017. Later on, the ban was lifted and the anchorperson was allowed to appear on TV screens. As a matter of fact, Dr. Hussain has an old habit of blaming his opponents for extralegal activities whenever he feels not comfortable with the organization.
He worked with the GEO TV but at the end of the day, he accused Geo’s owner of being an Indian agent, working against Pakistan. Later on, he himself did not stand up with the allegations he had leveled. Recently, he left Bol TV and in the same fashion accused the channel of carrying out some objectionable policies and activities. Later on, he again joined the channel.
Aamir Liaquat Hussain’s Political Career
Aamir Liaquat Hussain, a son of politician Sheikh Liaquat Hussain and renowned columnist Mahmooda Sultana, contested his maiden electoral battle in 2002 on the ticket of Muttahida Qaumi Movement from NA-249 Karachi-XI constituency. He was also appointed as the minister of state for Religious affairs and Zakat and Usher Division in September 2004 in Shaukat Aziz cabinet. But in 2007 because of severe violation of party rules Mr. Husain was forced to resign from his seat as a member of the national assembly and as Minister of State for Religious Affairs.
The CJP noted that such people [like Dr. Hussain] should not be in the parliament.
He quitted politics in 2007. MQM also expelled him from the party in 2008. Although Mr. Hussain had joined MQM again yet he parted ways with the party after an anti-Pakistan speech made by the party head Altaf Hussain in 2016. In 2018 Dr. Hussain joined the PTI and termed his decision as ‘his final destination’. He was also given the party ticket to contest elections from NA-225 (Karachi). Dr. Hussain managed to win the elections mainly because of PTI’s stronghold in the city.
Interestingly, PTI followers who voted for Dr. Hussain expressed their ‘anger’ on social media and conveyed PM Khan that it was his decision that they had to vote for a person like Dr. Hussain. Analysts opine that Mr. Hussain is likely to be disqualified by the apex court during the next hearing.
This is, however, not going to hurt the political base of the ruling party for two reasons. Firstly, Mr. Hussain is not liked by the majority of PTI’s workers and party members. His presence or absence, argues a PTI supporter, does not matter. Secondly, he won the seat not because of his personality rather it was because of the ticket given to him by the PTI. Therefore, if he gets disqualified, the party will be able to get its person elected from the same constituency, argue experts.