Islamabad Long March: My struggle for people’s democracy and rights, Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri
Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri addressed the hundreds of thousands of participants of the Long March at Jinnah Avenue and D Chowk in front of the Parliament House. He said that he had the same demands, where were raised on the occasion of mammoth public gathering on December 23. He said that four demands out of 7-point agenda were for the government while the remaining three points provided implementation mechanism.
He said that the Supreme Court gave an order of arrest of 16 people including the Prime Minister, adding that it was regrettable that the Minister for Law and Minister for Information were brazenly saying that there was no order of the Prime Minister’s arrest. He said that the Minister for Information and Broadcasting insinuated that he (Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri) was already in the know of things, which he said was not true and contrary to facts. He said that he did not even know that the case was scheduled for hearing at the apex court what to speak of the court’s order.
He said that those belonging to the government said that they were exploring similarity between the court’s order and his speech. He thunderously said that they would continue to find similarities, while the nation would throw them out of power. He said that if they smelled a conspiracy in his speech, the nation smelled a heinous conspiracy against the country from the very existence of elite ruling class. He said that they were a conspiracy against the rule of law, Constitution and as long as they lived in the country, conspiracies would continue to bounce back.
Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri stated categorically that Imran Khan and Tehreek Insaaf were genuine contenders for change and were not part of the corrupt mafia. He said that he had already extended an invitation to him to join the Long March. He again asked Khan to join the Long March and stand by him in his struggle for rule of law and restoration of the people’s rights. He said that it was not his march alone, rather it was a movement of 180 million people.
Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri said that there was no difference between his and Imran Khan’s agenda and in that case, they needed to bridge the gulf and join forces with each other for the good of the nation. He said that if elections were held under the old system, no one would be able to stop the corrupt mafia from returning back into corridors of power.
Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that those who were part of the problem could never become part of solution. He said that those who created crises in the country were not interested in or capable of resolving them. He said that he never saw a country in the world whose apex court ordered the PM to be arrested and he was insisting that he was still the Prime Minister. He said that these people brought down the prestige of the judiciary. He said that judiciary was strong, powerful and enjoyed people’s backing.
Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri that Constitution clearly stipulated that tax evaders, loan defaulters and criminals could not be members of Parliament, adding that contrarily majority of those present in the assemblies were the same people. He said that those who should have been behind bars were sitting in the Assemblies. He said that majority of legislators did not pay taxes. He said that if Articles 62, 63 and 218 of the Constitution were implemented, 90% of the people would be declared ineligible.
Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri said that the Constitution said that if anyone took a loan of 2 million rupees and failed to repay it within one year he would not be able to become MP. He said that people were now aware of their rights and would ask the State Bank and FBR as to who were defaulters. He said that the days of loot and plunder were gone by. He said that if a common man got a loan of Rs.20 thousand and defaulted on it, the banks would arrest him and try him in the court of law. He asked whether the national wealth was meant for the privileged elite.
Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri said that he sought to create a society where there was equality of rights for everyone. He said that the Supreme Court disqualified 91 legislators on fake degrees, adding that many more people with questionable character were still sitting in Parliament.
Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri narrated two incidents from his personal experience. He said that he met a former Australian PM who told him that Australia wanted to make an investment of billions of dollars. He said that the agreement was finally clinched in Islamabad. He said that an influential person came to him and asked him to deposit 30% of commission in his oversee account. The Australian PM said that he was socked to hear it. He finally decided to end the deal.
Narrating second incident, Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri said that he went to New Zealand in 1990. The Mayor of Auckland hosted a luncheon in his honour in which a former PM of New Zealand was also invited. He said that the former PM told him that Pakistan’s rulers got 50% shares in the biggest business of his country. He said that if the lords of corruption were on one side, the poor masses were on the other. He said that he was demanding electoral reforms to change the fate of the poor people. He said that he was striving for peaceful, constitutional and legal change in the country. He said that he wanted implementation of the Supreme Court’s decisions.
Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri said that it was a matter of shame for the rulers that dead bodies continued to lie at open roads for four days and the ruling elite remained unmoved. He said that there was lawlessness, disaster and manipulations and no governance whatsoever.
Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri said that the candidatures of the candidates should be scrutinized under Articles 62, 63 and 218 of the Constitution. He said that the Election Commission should conduct entire scrutiny process and allow those to contest polls who qualified for them.
Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that whatever he was saying was saying as a constitutionalist and professor of law and not as a religious scholar. He said that he taught Pakistani, UK’s and the American Constitutions all his life both in Pakistan and abroad. He said that he delivered lectures on democracy, peace, law and interfaith harmony in the world. He demanded that section 6 of the People’s Representation Act 1976 should be implemented. He said that Supreme Court’s decisions about electoral reforms should be implemented both in letter and spirit.
Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri said that the ruling classes brought about amendments for their benefit but did not approve even a single legislation for people’s welfare. He said that he never wanted to become part of the caretaker setup. He said that there should be clean and honest set up both at federal and provincial levels. He said that all assemblies should be dissolved forthwith.