Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri's Press Conference
Addressing a press conference on June 5 at the central secretariat, PAT Chairman Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri has said that Articles 62 & 63 seem to be losing their steam and becoming orphan. The Constitution is being denuded of its spirit. If robbers and defaulters have to be allowed to contest polls without any questions being raised, then we had better wind up Police, FIA, and NAB. Is law meant only for those who have no access to assemblies? The basis on which Nawaz Sharif was declared as disqualified has been undermined. The notions such as honesty, truth and trustworthiness are calling out as to why they were deleted from the nomination forms.
PAT leaders Khurram Nawaz Gandapur, Fayyaz Warraich, Noorullah Siddiqi, Ch. Muhammad Sharif, Naeem-ud-Din Chaudhry Advocate and others were also present on the occasion.
Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri said that the doors of legislatures have been pushed open by changing the nomination forms. He said that we reject the revised nomination forms, adding that our struggle is to protect the Constitution from being compromised. He said that such a system should be rejected vociferously that opens the doors for entry of the people with questionable character. It is nothing less than an attack on the constitutional spirit and joke with 210 million people.
The PAT Chairman said that provisions of the Constitution that were meant to be implemented in letter and spirit have been robbed of protection. He said that he highlighted the importance of Articles 62 & 63 at a mammoth public meeting at Minar-e-Pakistan in December 2012 and held a five-day Long March to Islamabad to press the electoral reforms. He said that even Model Town tragedy was perpetrated during the course of our struggle for reforms in the system.
Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri said that he was deeply hurt. He said that if the candidates are not to be subjected to the scrutiny process under Articles 62 & 63, then these provisions should be expunged from the Constitution. He said that delegation of provisions that demand honesty and integrity is a conspiracy against the Constitution and the people of Pakistan. He said that the decisions of the courts handed down in the wake of the Panama Leaks had created a ray of hope for an across-the-board accountability. He said that we have been dismayed at the changes made in the nomination form and we summarily reject them.
Dr Qadri said that it is our plea to the state institutions to take a careful view of the situation. He said that 210 million people are in agony on the current state of affairs. He said that if the idea is to reform the country and put it on track, then those who are supposed to hold positions of legislative and executive authority need to be held to account and elected in a fair manner, adding that if the people with questionable conduct and track record come into power, it will entail more destruction and mayhem. He said that if the big fish are to be allowed to get away with their corruption and crimes, then lowly officials should also be allowed to indulge in corruption and illegal practices; corruption should be given legal cover and the institutions of accountability should be shut down.
Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri narrated a hadith wherein the Holy Prophet (SAW) said that the previous nations were destroyed because they would not hold their powerful people accountable and all laws were only meant for the poor and weak. He said that PAT is not a traditional political party and our reform agenda that we had announced in 2012 is still our priority. He said that we educated the nation on the Constitution and we will continue our journey of service. He said that we are taking stock of the situation and mulling options as to how to draw the attention of the institutions to this important issue.