DR Tahirul Qadri, like Imran Khan before him, has held very successful public rallies in Lahore and Karachi. Both have drawn huge crowds and both have been accused of being supported by the establishment.
Both have stated that their mission is to rid the nation of their present misery, massive corruption and mismanagement. Both have had the support of the most egalitarian, but slippery political party, the MQM.
The MQM openly supports Dr Qadri and has now joined his mission and declared its full participation in the revolutionary march to Islamabad on Jan 14, if Dr Qadri’s demands are not met. In case of Imran Khan, they only supported him to the extent that they did not oppose his rally in Karachi which is their domain.
Both, Dr Qadri and Imran Khan, want to get rid of the ruling exploiters who are harming the country on the pretext of democracy. Both want to give a respite to the masses by ending their miseries through drastic reforms and good governance.
The similarities between the two end here: while Imran Khan is a true blue and patriotic Pakistani who has been struggling for his mission for the last several years, and in spite of best available options has never opted for a foreign nationality.
On the other hand, Dr Qadri is a Canadian national and had remained away from the country for six years before staging a comeback. He has now suddenly emerged as a messiah to save the nation. While Imran Khan very candidly declares that he wants to win elections and establish his government to bring a change and an end to social, economic, religious and security collapse and total chaos.
Dr Qadri says he is not interested in power and claims that he has come back to save the nation from a total disaster. He appears and poses to be a Khomeini- type messiah and saviour of the nation.
The question is: what has prompted Dr Qadri to suddenly end his self- exile and come back with so much fanfare and publicity?
Is it the pain and love for the nation which he had shunned six years ago or is there some other hidden agenda? Only time will tell. He is, however, making his best efforts.
Imran Khan and Dr Qadri seem to have same objectives of bringing a positive change. However, it may be wiser and safer to bet on Imran Khan who is a known personality and whose agenda is crystal clear. I think there is no use of going for the same objectives in a complicated manner through an uncertain and tricky path.
ZAHEER AHMED Islamabad
DR Tahirul Qadri certainly demonstrated one thing: he has the capacity to gather mammoth crowds. Two factors in my opinion helped him in this task: the influence of political Islam in our society and the extreme disenchantment that the people have towards the present regime.
Dr Qadri’s main demands from the government, however, seem to be against the provisions of the constitution, the document that he purports to uphold in its entirety. Some of the major inconsistencies of his demands with the provisions of the constitution are as follows:(a) There is no provision in our constitution for caretaker governments to make decisions beyond the day- to- day running of the government and the holding of elections.
(b) An individual cannot arrogate to himself the right of representing people by merely gathering them together. He or she has to be first elected by the people before he/she gets the constitutional prerogative of representing them and (c) our constitution does not prescribe any role for our army or judiciary in holding elections under a caretaker government.
AKBAR JAN MARWAT Islamabad