Pak SC rejects Qadri petition

Islamabad, Feb.13: Pakistan's Supreme Court on Wednesday threw out a petition by a Pakistani-Canadian cleric asking for dissolution and reconstitution of the election commission as part of electoral reforms before the next parliamentary elections scheduled in mid-May.

The dramatic entry into Pakistani politics of Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri, who returned to Pakistan from Canada after 10 years i December month and led a march of tens of thousands of protestors to the capital in January, has sparked concerns from some that he is seeking to derail elections at the behest of the army.

Qadri wanted the apex court to order dissolution and reconstitution of the election commission to ensure free and transparent election. However, he failed to make out his case as to how it became a matter of his fundamental right being a dual nationality holder, prompting a three-judge panel headed by chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to dismiss his petition.

An unpleasant situation occurred during the course of hearing when Qadri, who hold degree in law, questioned loyality allegiance of chief justice showing to him an old picture of his taking oath from former President Pervez Musharraf. However, the top judge did not lose his temper and rose for a break.

"The petition is dismissed" the chief justice ruled while reading out a short order. He said that the petitioner had failed to make out a case that it was question of his

fundamental right adding that he had no right to claim reilef . The chief justice said Qadri was disqualified to contest parliamentary elections being a dual nationality holder.

Qadri had told the court that he had resigned from the National Assembly in 2004 and obtained Canadian citizenship in 2005.

He was elected to the National Assembly in 2002 elections but resigned after little over one year saying that he did not want to be the part of a corrupt and inefficient system and shifted to Canada from where he came back early last month.

Justice Chaudhry aid although Qadri's inappropriate arguments were tantamount to contempt of court but "we decided not to proceed against him while exercising restrant."

Qadri, who is a known religious scholar and intellectual, is the founding leader of Minhaj-ul-Qur'an International (MQI), an organisation with branches in more than 90 countries and that works for the promotion of peace and harmony between communities.

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