Petition against Qadri, long march moved in IHC
ISLAMABAD: A constitutional petition was moved before the Islamabad High Court on Thursday against Dr Tahirul Qadri, alleging Tehrik-i-Minhajul Quran (TMQ) chief was attempting to establish a parallel parliament and posing a direct threat to Pakistan’s sovereignty.
Petitioner Shahid Orakzai pleaded to the IHC to direct the Chief Commissioner Islamabad to prevent any gathering in the federal Capital for such objectives.
The court was asked to declare that “no person…be allowed to assemble any decision making body above the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament).”
Dr Qadri has vowed to lead a march of millions on Islamabad on Jan 14 in what he terms an attempt to bring electoral reforms before the upcoming general election.
A similar petition was moved n Wednesday pleading the Lahore High Court to stop Dr Tahirul Qadri’s planned “anti-democracy march”.
Petitioner Orakzai pointed out on Thursday that Qadri had held a public audience in Lahore on Dec 23 and the Punjab government had remained a “silent spectator” to the ‘flagrant misuse of the fundamental right of freedom of expression’.
“Private television channels broadcast his political sermon worldwide although no foreigner can misuse Freedom of Expression under Article 19, which is a right of citizen of Pakistan,” the petition pointed out.
The petition requested the court to inquire from the Director General Immigration and Passports whether the respondent entered Pakistan as a citizen or otherwise.
Orakzai further stated in the petition that Qadri, who had acquired citizenship of another state, could not exercise the Right of Movement under Article 15, the Right of Assembly under Article 16, the Right of Association under Article 17 and the Freedom of Expression under Article 19 because all of these freedoms were given only to citizens by the Constitution, and were being misused by the respondent.
He said that no association or union could operate as a full-fledged political party until it complied with constitutional requirements.
Any attempt to establish a parallel legislative body seeking to overrule and overthrow the parliament would be a “direct challenge to the sovereignty of Pakistan which this court is duty bound to defend”, the petition argued.