The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has directed the interior secretary to file a report over the issuance of the identity card of Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) founder Altaf Hussain after consulting the secretary of foreign affairs.
The order has been given by Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani who was hearing the petition that was filed by MQM through former deputy convener Momin Khan. The petition has sought the issuance of National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP) to Altaf Hussain.
The court was informed by the legal advisor of the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) that the profile of Altaf Hussain was not available in NADRA records as the last card was issued before the establishment of NADRA.
The court said that keeping Altaf Hussain’s application pending since 2014 was regrettable.
The court was informed by the ministry that Altaf Hussain’s identity card and passport were blocked on orders of the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC).
The court seeking report from the interior ministry adjourned the hearing till October 26.
Altaf Hussain was represented in the case in the Lahore High Court (LHC) by the late Asma Jahangir. However, he remained unrepresented since her death.
According to the petition, Altaf Hussain had contacted the Pakistan High Commission in London for attestation of power of attorney to appoint his counsel; however, the commission had refused to attest documents in absence of a NADRA certificate.
According to the application, Altaf had applied for NICOP and the renewal of his passport in 2014. The petitioner has also added that the late Wahid Shamsul Hasan, then High Commissioner to London, had confirmed this in their statements.