The Kooza News: Criticism of Qadri by Pakistani politicians, media disappoints OPF
MONTREAL: The Overseas Pakistanis Forum (OPF) has expressed its disappointment over what it called the treatment of Dr Tahirul Qadri as a second class citizen by some Pakistani political leaders and media on the ground of holding dual nationality.
In a statement issued here on Wednesday, Ali Abbas Hasanie, OPF secretary, said that while the Supreme Court followed its usual course of action in deciding the application of law to Dr Qadri’s petition, a number of political leaders and some media persons were criticizing Dr Qadri’s efforts to regularize the formation of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
Hasanie said the dual national Pakistanis are not second class citizens and they have constitutional rights to challenge the formation of the ECP, which if proven unconstitutional by the court after the elections might jeopardize the results of the election process in Pakistan.
The OPF secretary said that over 4.3 million Pakistanis living outside Pakistan have their “locus standi” against what he called the corrupt politicians and the corrupt electoral process as they see their homeland gradually sinking and reaching to a point of a failed state.
“Is this not enough reason for the likes of Dr Qadri to return back to Pakistan and save Pakistan from the hostile takeover by the corrupt politicians in upcoming elections? I am not a constitutional lawyer and I cannot comment on the application of Article 184(3) and quo warranto but I can assure you that the people of Pakistan have high hopes over the role of apex court in Pakistan to ensure free, fair, honest and just elections. The voters are confident that our apex court will definitely pull a suo motu action when they have a reason to believe that Election Commission and/or interim prime minister are not exercising their power in a free, fair, honest and just manner,” he stated.
Hasanie reiterated that dual national Pakistanis are as much Pakistanis as any other Pakistani living inside Pakistan. He said the dual national Pakistanis have constitutional right to take part in the affairs of Pakistan and to fully participate in Pakistani elections. “No one needs to suspect the loyalty of dual national Pakistanis as they can leave their country of residence to come back to Pakistan by giving up their dual nationality on a few days notice. We must understand that the oath for the loyalty of a resident country outside Pakistan is by design but the loyalty to our homeland is by our choice and faith,” he argued.
As Salman Akram Raja, a senior lawyer, said the oath of allegiance to any country is there to be loyal to the constitution and the state in the law making (parliamentarians only) and in abiding by the laws of the land (which is not wrong), the OPF secretary said. But if the question of allegiance to Pakistan against a foreign country ever comes, he said, Pakistanis would be on the side of Pakistan and not on the side of a foreign country where they live.
“On behalf of OPF, I would like to assure Dr Qadri and his associates that we are all with you for your efforts for justice in Pakistan and free and fair elections to bring a change in government for the survival and the betterment of Pakistan,” he concluded.