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SC dresses down Canadian Tahirul Qadri

12 February, 2013

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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday 'debriefed' Minhajul Quran chief Dr Tahirul Qadri, with most of the questions revolving around his Canadian citizenship and locus standi to file a petition against the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

As the three-member bench started hearing, Dr Qadri tried to shower judiciary with praises but Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry asked him to 'come to the point'.

The CJP asked the dual nationality holder petitioner that he had not explained in the petition his locus standi to approach the court against the ECP.

The court questioned that how somebody, who takes oath of allegiance to another country, could remain loyal to Pakistan. How a person who had shown allegiance to another country with pledge to physically fight for it, could file a petition, the court asked. The bench observed that if a person cannot become member of Pakistan's parliament, how could he raise questions over the functioning of parliament, which is the representative of 180 million people.

The chief justice said after acquiring the citizenship of any Commonwealth country, one shows allegiance to Queen Elizbeth. He also read aloud the text of Canadian oath: "From this day forward, I pledge my loyalty and allegiance to Canada and Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada. I promise to respect our country's rights and freedoms, to uphold our democratic values, to faithfully observe our laws and fulfil my duties and obligations as a Canadian citizen." The CJP questioned after taking this oath, how one can remain loyal to Pakistan?

The chief justice asked Qadri when did he acquire the citizenship, to which he replied: "In 1999, I applied for Canadian nationality as an international religious scholar, and after six years (in 2005) was granted citizenship." The bench inquired from Dr Qadri whether he acquired foreign nationality under any threat, to which he replied that he didn't face any threats in Pakistan.

The court asked Qadri if he had his citizenship certificate, to which Dr Qadri said he didn't have at the moment but could provide it later. To a question by CJP whether he could retain Pakistan's nationality after acquiring Canadian citizenship, Qadri said under Section 14(3) of Pakistan Citizenship Act 1951 he could hold both the nationalities.

However, when court sought attorney general's opinion over Dr Qadri's eligibility to file the petition, Irfan Qadir supported the petitioner. "Although I might not agree with the contents of Dr Qadri's petition, there is no bar on him to file the petition under Article 184(3) of the constitution," he told the court. The AG asked the court to take judicial note of it, adding in quo warranto, locus standi was not necessary.

Dr Qadri told the court that constitution allowed him to file the petition as he had approached the court as a voter, not as a parliamentarian.

The court ordered Dr Qadri to submit a concise statement today regarding his right to file a petition for the reconstitution of ECP as well as his Canadian citizenship.

The three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, is hearing a petition filed by Dr Tahirul Qadri for the reconstitution of the Election Commission of Pakistan. Qadri has filed his constitutional petition under Article 184(3) of the constitution, requesting the apex court to declare the appointment of chief election commissioner and four other members as null and void for being not in accordance with the provisions of Article 213 and 218 of the constitution.


Reader Comments:


Glad to see the SC take this posiition since this has been an issue with elected and other officials within Pakistani Govt. This was the first question that popped into this writer's mind when first reading about this scenerio and one that has long plagued me about ex-pat Pakistanis in other nations that seem to exhibit a stong affinity for Pakistan over and even above their adopted nations...from that standpoint, I know, at least in U.S.'s case....most U.S. citizens, including overwhelming majority of Pakistani mericans would say to such people...go back....go back to Pakistan and renounce U.S. citizenship...if that's the way you truly feel....Mr. Qadri should renounce his Canadian citizenship if he wishes to persue his petition in Pakistani Courts!

AMERICAN WIND, United States - 12 February, 2013

moheb a waten Pakistani's

what about billion of Aid money received by moheb a waten Pakistani's from so called foreigners must also be stopped.
I urge all dual nationals to write to their Parliamentarians and insist all aid to Pakistan must be stopped?

Aziz, - 12 February, 2013

A split personality

I would'nt call him kinky, but there is nothing wrong in enjoying merrits of life in Canada as well as merrits of life in Pakistan.I have been Canadian citizen since 1971(42 years ago) and I have started to spend few months every year in Pakistan after my retirement here in Canada. I say it is grand to enjoy merrits of life in Canada as well as merrits of life in Pakistan and call them both as my two countries.

Politics is something very strange and I think that Mr Qadri is not very right there to fit in. There are countless other merrits in Pakistan to try and enjoy along with merrits we enjoy in Canadaas Canadian citizens. Mr Qadri may be finding escape routes because being religious scholar in Canada may limit your entry in politics in Canada.

Canada and US are the work engines of the world. People may be workholics here, but religion really limits your life in religious spheres. The enormous world class resources and safe and good and peaceful life are still the grand merrits of Canadian way of life. All those merrits are woth enjoying with priding sense.

I come to Pakistan every year for months to enjoy the merrits in which Pakistan too is very grand. People have time and I can talk to people who are not that workholics. Canadian citizenship fully supports enjoying life merrits outside of Canada as well and I find them merrits in Pakistan.But, I would'nt venture into practical politics - nothing beyond expressing views and opinions in newspapers.I enjoy seeing my articles and poems published in Pakistan and elsewhere as much as I enjoy my gas engineering work published from Canada in the annual international conferences of the very top places in 2004 and some other times.

But, a Canadian citizen, one should really avoid practical politics and getting embroiled in institutional hassels where things are already strained.Just enjoy the grand nature in Pak north and elsewhere and enjoy the people's human interaction that is missing in very work oriented Canada.

A.M.Rogers, - 13 February, 2013

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