Qadri presents demands, vows to abide by Constitution in written letter to SC

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chairman Tahir ul Qadri has submitted in the Supreme Court a written commitment to abide by the Constitution and its tenets regarding human rights, morality, the rule of law, the strengthening of institutions, and democracy.

The PAT chief promised he would act in accordance to the Constitution and be guided by the principles enunciated by the court in its judgments, in this regard.

Earlier this week, the top court has issued notices to Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan and Qadri, demanding them to respond to a petition that claimed the fundamental rights of citizens were being violated as a result of their parties’ sit-ins.

While Imran and his counsel had submitted their response on Friday, Qadri had submitted a preliminary reply, requesting the court not to interfere in political matters. The court, in response, had asked him to elaborate.

Ali Zafar, PAT’s legal counsel, gave a more extensive response on Saturday, presenting nine political demands before the court. The Express Tribune has reproduced them here:

Privatisation: The PAT in its first demand says that it is the demand of the people that the privatisation of state assets be carried out transparently. PAT’s concern, the letter said, is that valuable assets of the people of Pakistan are being divided among the rulers of the country and their friends.

Institutional appointments: The PAT restated that appointments ought to be made independently and with judicial endorsement. It blamed the government for not adhering to the rules.

Unconstitutional actions: In many of Qadri’s speeches, he has accused the government of violating multiples tenets of the Constitution, including Article 3, and “Articles 9 to 38″. The letter reiterated those violations.

Human rights: The letter quite emphatically accused the government of failing to protect and preserve the right of its citizens.

Local government system: The letter also railed on the government’s failure to conduct local government polls. “Article 140-A which clearly provides that political, financial and administrative authority, should be devolved to grass roots through local bodies,” the letter said. “The present rulers have defied judgments of the Supreme Court of Pakistan directing the elections to the local bodies to be held. What should be the demands of the people who see non-compliance of the Constitution?”

Funds to legislators: The letter objected to the funds lawmakers were receiving ostensibly for public works programmes. “The concern is with the fact that the parliamentarians are being provided funds for carrying out works, while the members of Parliament should have no concern with undertaking works as their job is to legislate,” the letter said. Such allotment of funds to parliamentarians amounts to corruption and must be changed.

Rule of law: The PAT letter took the opportunity to register its protest over the lack of progress in prosecuting the perpetrators of the violence in Model Town on June 17. The letter read: “The demonstrators believe in the equality of law for the rich and poor. The massacre of Model Town involved the poor, and till date even an FIR has not been registered, while the people are going from pillar to post for justice only because the sitting Chief Minister of the Province is involved. What is the rule of law is the question that the “sit-in” is asking.”

Access to information: The PAT letter railed against the broad lack of information in the country, without specific examples or cases.

Accountability: The letter broadly demanded transparency and accountability in all political matters and procedures.

On an ending note, the letter warned against judicial interference, but paradoxically also asked the Supreme Court to take a stand.

“There are recent examples where the courts in other countries have either avoided or failed to control the wave of change,” the letter read and asked the court to be on the ‘right side of history’.


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