ISLAMABAD – The attempt to establish a parallel Parliament was termed a “direct challenge to the sovereignty of Pakistan” and Islamabad High Court has been moved to instruct the Chief Commissioner of Islamabad to “prevent any gathering” in the capital with such objectives.

A writ petition has been filed by Shahid Orakzai with the Islamabad High Court in the backdrop of Minhajul Quran’s Tahirul Qadri proposed a march on Islamabad on January 14 - where the court was asked to declare that “no person shall be allowed to assemble in Islamabad and making body above the Parliament.”

The court was requested to firstly inquire from Director General Immigration and Passports whether the respondent, Tahirul Qadri, entered Pakistan as a citizen of Pakistan or otherwise.

It has been requested through the petition that the court immediately instruct the Interior Secretary to warn Tahir-ul-Qadri not to “indulge in any political or religious activity described in Article 17 and Article 20” until the decision on this petition and take appropriate actions under the Criminal Procedure Code to prevent any violation of law and public order.

The court has been moved for the cancellation of Qadri’s visa together with his foreign escorts in his latest mission to reform Pakistan’s democracy.

The petitioner in his petition insisted that Qadri, who had acquired citizenship of another state, could not exercise the Right of Movement under Article 15, the Right of Assembly under Article 16, the Right of Association under Article 17 and the Freedom of Expression under Article 19 because all of these freedoms were given only to the citizen by the Constitution which were being misused by respondent.

The writ petition pointed out that Qadri had held a public audience in Lahore on December 23 last and the Punjab government had remained a “silent spectator” to the flagrant misuse of the Fundamental Right of Freedom of Expression.

“Private TV channels broadcast his political sermon worldwide although no foreigner can misuse the Freedom of Expression under Article 19 which is a right of citizen of Pakistan,” the petition pointed out.

The petitioner emphasized that no association or union could operate as a full-fledged political party until it complies constitutional requirements. The respondent shall be asked whether his “brainchild Parliament” would be holding its maiden session in the Capital as an association and a union or as a political party, petitioner insisted.

The petitioner elaborated that Parliament stands defined by Article 50 and comprises “the President and the two Houses respectively called the National Assembly and the Senate”, which are to be presided by the Speaker and the Chairman and the inaugural session of the Parliament, held after every general election to the National Assembly through secret ballot, is to be addressed by the President under Article 56 who has to explain the causes of summon to the members of both Houses assembled together.

Any attempt to establish a parallel legislative body seeking to over rule and overthrow the Majlis-e-Shoora would be a “direct challenge to the Sovereignty of Pakistan which this Court is duty bound to defend”.