Loyalties of expatriate Pakistanis rendered suspect: Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri

I went to the Supreme Court of Pakistan to prove unconstitutional formation of the Election Commission so that its constitutional and legal status could become clear. But I was not allowed to present my arguments on the issue despite hearing of three days. The issue of dual nationality was raised on the first day of hearing and the three days were spent on discussion of this issue. I am not criticizing the Court’s decision nor am I making any comments on it. I am only talking about a matter which was not heard. I always hold judiciary in the highest esteem but do not accept the decision which was announced without any hearing. The law is that cases are always decided after proper hearing. I respect judiciary as an institution and have only protested against its treatment.

Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri made these remarks while addressing a crowded press conference in PAT’s central secretariat the other day. He said that clause 3/14 of Citizenship Act 1951 did not place any ban on seeking dual nationality. He said that one became foreigner only when one renounced the mother country’s citizenship altogether. He said that the Gazette of Pakistan had an agreement of dual nationality with 16 countries. He further said that Pakistan’s agreement of dual nationality with the US and Canada had been intact for last 40 years, which proves that holding nationality of these countries did not divide one’s loyalty. Had that been the case, the country’s constitution would not have allowed it, he said.

Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that the expatriate Pakistanis sent remittances to their mother country, which were so crucial for the country’s economy. He said that the Pakistanis who sit in the American Congress or House of Lords fight for the country’s interest through lobbying. He said that it was his right as a voter to go to Supreme Court and move any petition. He said that dual nationals of the Pakistani origin had established over 100 charity institutions and only 10 out of these sent 7.5 billion rupees to Pakistan in 2011.

Dr Qadri said that 93 countries of the world had allowed dual nationalities and concluded agreements to this effect. He said that dual nationality was being encouraged throughout the world. He said that the Court’s decision had hurt the feelings of expatriate community of Pakistan and they had been made third-class citizens. He said that Pakistani diaspora established colleges, hospitals and welfare institutions in their mother country, which reflected their love for the country. He said that now their loyalty had been rendered suspect. Canada’s Prime Minister John Turner was a dual national as well. Mr. Broser, Lord Mayor of London, had a dual nationality. Prominent politicians of Pakistani origin Ch Sarwar, Lord Nazir Ahmad, Baroness Saeeda Warsi, Chairperson of Conservative Party, and Lord Qurban were also nationals of Pakistan as well as the UK. The Governor of Bank of England was also dual national.

Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that legal demands of justice were not met in the decision as the hearing was not conducted on the real petition. He said that he was the one who accepted supremacy of law and would not launch any movement against the Supreme Court nor would he file a review petition against the decision. He said that even if 100 of people filed the petition, the decision would be the same.

He said that MQI had its presence around the globe and was not restricted to Pakistan. He said that he visited the world to project message of Islam and deliver lecturers in the universities. He said that the apex court took suo moto notice on Karachi situation on his statement. He said that he was a dual national then. He said that suo moto notice on the memogate was taken on the petition of Canadian national Shafqatullah Sohail. He said that Mansoor Ijaz of Blackberry fame was an American national. He said that it was not his job to establish his bona fide.

Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that his agenda was of nation building. He was the only personality in the country who did not look up to the upcoming elections but was worried about the future of the next generation. He said that Dr Aafia Saddiqi, the daughter of Pakistan, was an American national as well. He said that the court’s decision would weaken the case of Dr Aafia. He said that Dr Asim Hussain was removed from the slot of minister for petroleum and natural resources because of his dual nationality but he was now concluding agreements of strategic importance with other countries. He said that those who looted national resources and laundered them abroad were considered loyal to Pakistan.