Supreme Court raises finger at Qadri’s Canadian citizenship

The Supreme Court questioned whether the Chief of Minhajul Quran, Dr Tahirul Qadri has the legal right to file public interest litigation in Pakistan. Dr Qadri has lived in Canada for several years and is enjoying the luxury of dual nationality. The court on Monday was referring to his oath of allegiance to the Queen of Canada.

Dr Qadri has filed a petition for the dissolution of Election Commission of Pakistan, claiming the institution has not been performing accordingly. He is hoping the Supreme Court will declare the appointment of Chief Election Commissioner and four other members of the ECP “not in accordance with the provisions of Article 213 and 218 of the constitution, hence all these appointments are void ab-initio.”

Dr Qadri informed the judges that he is appearing before the apex court for the first time. He also claimed to have played a significant role in the restoration of judiciary, to which, the court asked Dr Qadri to remain on the issue in discussion. The court clearly stated that the case will only proceed when Dr Qadri ascertains his locus standi.

The Chief Justice said: “You swore allegiance to that country… so long as you are a citizen of Canada there is a bar on you to enter Parliament

under Article 63 of the Constitution of Pakistan… How can somebody who takes an oath of allegiance to another country be loyal to Pakistan?”

In response, Dr Qadri maintained that Pakistan’s law permits everyone to take citizenship of another country, adding that “Canada is included in the Commonwealth countries and the government’s notification clearly mention the name of Canada as well.”

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