Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri’s petition against the unconstitutional composition of ECP and Supreme Court’s Decision

On the third day of hearing, the Supreme Court of Pakistan dismissed Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadr’s petition in which he had prayed to the Court to order recomposition of the Election Commission in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Constitution.

Talking to media after the hearing, Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that the hearing remained focused on his locus standi and the real issue of reconstitution of the Election Commission as per the Constitution was not taken up.

Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that it was on record and he was fully convinced that the Election Commission was not constituted as per Article 213 of the Constitution which required the Parliamentary Committee to conduct necessary hearings for constitution and selection of members of the ECP. He said that the Supreme Court should have ordered for production of record of proceedings of the Parliamentary Committee, minutes of the meeting and summoned its chairman Syed Khursheed Shah to hear his point of view.

He said that minutes of the meeting could have proven beyond any doubt that the hearing was not conducted at the time of constitution of the ECP. He said that all political parties were on record on having stated that they made a mistake. He said that the composition of the ECP was unconstitutional.

Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that he got a couple of minutes to explain his position in the first hearing and then hearings on the second and third days remained focused on his locus standi in which a petitioner is required to prove that he is entitled to file a petition under Article 184(3) of the Constitution. Dr Qadri said that he quoted six references from PLD, adding that if the matter of public interest and importance is involved and where fundamental rights have been infringed, nothing more is required to be asked.

Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri said that instead of taking up the real issue, the Court discussed his dual nationality right from the first day of hearing. He said that with due respect and reverence for the Supreme Court of Pakistan, he wanted to tell the nation that he was not allowed to read even a single word of the real petition. He said that when he started reading out the petition, the Court asked him the questions about dual nationality without hearing him.

Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that that the entire day was spent on attacking the concept of dual nationality, whereas the millions of Pakistanis were true patriots and loyal to their mother country. He said that these were the overseas Pakistanis who were the mainstay of national economy and sent billions of dollars to the country. He said that the employees and the institutions were paid out salaries and maintained out of the money sent by the oversees Pakistanis.

Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that one was required to take an oath while seeking a foreign nationality. He said that his loyalty and that of many million Pakistanis was rendered suspect by invoking the same oath and his relationship with Pakistan was questioned. He said that it was in this background that he asked the Chief Justice that he took one oath under the Constitution and then he took a second oath under Legal Framework Order of General Pervez Ashraf.

Dr Qadri asked that if two oaths of office taken by the honourable Chief Justice did not render his loyalty suspect, how could his (Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri’s) oaths could be instrumental in making his loyalty doubtful? What is more is that the CJ did not take new oath under the Constitution after reinstatement and was on the bench under the LFO oath of General Musharraf.

Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that as long as dismissal of petition was concerned, the Court had made up its mind before the hearing began. He said that all newspapers bore headings that ‘Election Commission will not be disbanded’, ‘No foreigner will be allowed to wrap up political system’. He said that he was humiliated by branding him a foreigner. He said that he was a Pakistani and the Constitution of Pakistan allowed its citizens to hold dual nationality. He said that the assertion that ‘a foreigner cannot change a system’ and he was a ‘foreigner’ amounted to disgrace of the millions of oversees Pakistanis. He said that it was in this context that it could be said that the decision was taken on political grounds and was in contravention of law and the Constitution.

Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that the decision was tantamount to violating the rights of the millions of the expatriate Pakistanis and even the Constitution of Pakistan did not deprive them of their right.