KARACHI: The Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) granted interim bail on Saturday to Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan chief Farooq Sattar in five cases pertaining to hate speech.
During hearing on the cases, the ATC judge expressed anger over the Sattar’s absence from the court for over nine months. However, the MQM-Pakistan chief told the court he was unaware of the arrest warrants issued for him.
The ATC had issued non-bailable arrest warrants for Sattar over were issued after the founding leader of MQM — in a speech to participants of a hunger strike outside the Karachi Press Club on August 22, 2016 — incited party workers after which they took to the streets, ransacked media houses and vandalised property.
Sattar added he respects the court, therefore, came for the hearing as soon as he got to know about the arrest warrants. He told the courts the allegations levelled against him were baseless, but he would face the court nevertheless.
The court granted bail to Sattar, ordering him to submit bail bonds in two cases worth Rs250,000 each and of Rs50,000 each in three other cases. The hearing was adjourned till June 9.
While talking to the media outside the ATC on Saturday, Sattar spoke about the issue of power outages. He said people who are answerable in this case should respond first that is to say they wanted an answer from National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA), Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif and State Minister for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali.
Sattar talked to the media persons about the solution to long hours of outages, saying the federal government and Nepra should form a team of engineers who should make sure that the furnace oil plants are functional. He added if they are then K-Electric should invest in towers that do not trip frequently.
The MQM-Pakistan chief said he has received feedback that aluminium bundle wires are water resistant and do not interrupt power supply during rain, neither can anyone steal electricity through them. Therefore, he added, such measures should be taken that do not affect the flow of electricity.