Supreme Court questions Tahirul Qadri’s right to file petition
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan has directed Tehreek-e-Minhajul Quran chief Tahirul Qadri to submit documents pertaining to his Canadian citizenship along with questioning his right to file a petition for the delimitation of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
A three-member bench of the apex court heard Qadri’s petition against the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and Provincial election commissioners on Monday. During proceedings the bench asked Qadri to remain focused on the issue at hand when he tried to inform them about his efforts during the judicial movement.
The Chief Justice asked whether a Canadian citizen could also keep Pakistan citizenship? Tahirul Qadri replied that he was the citizen of Pakistan and Canada and added that the documents relating to immigration would be submitted in due course.
The Chief Justice inquired on what basis Qadri acquired citizenship of Canada, asking if he had any threats to his life. Qadri in reply said that he acquired Canadian citizenship in 2005 after resigning from the national assembly on the basis of being a religious scholar.
The Chief Justice remarked that this made it evident that you (Qadri) have been a Canadian citizen for a long time and there is a bar on your becoming a member of parliament under Article 63. The Tehreek-e-Minhajul Quran chief replied that Pakistan’s law allowed citizens of Britain or its colonies to keep dual-nationality.
The Chief Justice asked Qadri to read his Canadian oath of allegiance to which Qadri said that he did not have a copy of the oath.
When the court asked the Attorney General for his opinion on the right of Tahirul Qadri to file a petition, he replied that he did not agree with Qadri’s petition but the law did not prohibit dual-nationals from filing petitions.
The Chief Justice read out the Canadian oath of allegiance during the proceedings, following which Justice Gulzar Ahmed remarked that how a person who had sworn allegiance to another country file a petition. Qadri in his reply stated that he had filed the petition as a voter.
The hearing of the case was adjourned till Tuesday when Qadri has been directed to submit a comprehensive reply regarding his right to file a petition.