PESHAWAR: A lawyer has moved the Peshawar High Court against the non-engraving of the image of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah on coin of Rs10 denomination by the State Bank of Pakistan with the request to order cancellation of the present coin.

A writ petition was filed by advocate Malik Najab Gul Khalil requesting the court to issue directives to the respondents, including federal finance minister and State Bank of Pakistan governor, to cancel the coin of Rs10 denomination and issue a new coin with the feature of Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

He prayed the court to restrain the respondents from repeating the act.

The petitioner ahs also sought interim relief from the court requesting that the circulation of Rs10 coin may be stopped till final disposal of the writ petition.

Lawyer seeks cancellation of current coin for carrying Faisal Masjid impression

The respondents in the petition are the federal government through the secretary to the country’s president; the federal government through principal secretary to the prime minister; the State Bank of Pakistan governor, and federal finance minister.

The petitioner said the State Bank of Pakistan had issued a coin of Rs10 denomination in 2016 having feature of crescent and star on the obverse and feature of Islamabad’s Faisal Masjid on the reverse side of the coin.

He said before the issuance of Rs10 coin, the government had issued Re1 coin over which the feature of Mohammad Ali Jinnah has been engraved on obverse and feature of the mosque of Islamia College Peshawar on the back side of the coin.

The petitioner said the Faisal Masjid was named after Saudi King Shah Faisal.

He added that on the currency notes of Saudi Arabia, no feature of Mohammad Ali Jinnah or any other Freedom Movement leader was printed.

He said he belonged to Muslim faith and respected mosques and other places of religious importance with the core of his heart, but the issue related to Father of the Nation.

The petitioner said feeling aggrieved with the act of the respondents, he had got no other adequate remedy available in the law and was constrained to invoke the constitutional jurisdiction of the high court.

He explained the history of the issuance of currency notes of different denomination after the creation of Pakistan.

“Until 1971, Pakistani currency notes were bilingual featuring Bengali translation of the Urdu text, since Bengali was state language of the East Pakistan,” he said.

The petitioner claimed that all banknotes other than that of Re1 and Rs2 featured a portrait of Mohammad Ali Jinnah on the obverse along with writing in Urdu.

He said the reverse of the banknotes varied in design and have English text.

The petitioner said the only Urdu text, he said, was found on the reverse was translation of saying of Holy Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) stating ‘seeking honest livelihood is worship of God’.

He said the banknotes varied in size and colour. He added that all currency notes contained multiple colours, but each denomination does have one predominant colour.

Published in Dawn, November 28th, 2017

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