I have been reading columns and opinions of readers in your esteemed paper since the burst of Allama Tahirul Qadri on the political stage. Nevertheless, views and opinions apropos of Qadri’s phenomenon by different columnists and readers have been found quite lacking in objectivity. I am not a Qadri apologist nor do I have been MQI member ever, however, I expect more rationalistic analysis of the whole scenario instead of taunts and superficial commenting. If Qadri has highlighted the ills of incumbent sham parliamentary democracy, rather elite democracy nay plutocracy, in more emphatic way, then why should he be maligned?

Unfortunately, instead of discussing merits of electoral reforms and implementation of the SCP’s certain verdicts in this regard, prior to general elections as Qadri has been ardently espousing, majority of the columnists have resorted to his character assassination with conspiratorial paranoia. I am unable to understand that when Imran Khan staged anti-drone rally in Tank, he was appreciated for being bold and courageous to take up the gauntlet but Qadri is being maligned for risking lives of hundreds of people, particularly women and children, for staging a peaceful sit-in?

Qadri, being a Brelvi cleric, hardly appears a good choice for establishment as he can’t provide requisite wherewithal, militant warriors, to wage proxy jihad, so dubbing him establishment puppet does not make sense. As regards unconstitutionality of his demands, reconstitution of ECP is being tipped as a case in point. However, Qadri is not alone in questioning credentials of the ECP, rather PTI and PML-Q have been expressing doubts over its impartial composition and last but not least, recent remarks of leading constitutional expert, S M Zafar, mentioned the composition of ECP in violation of constitutional provisions which rather support Qadri’s contention.

If the whole nation is suffering at the hands of these political charlatans, elected representative of people, for bad governance, lawlessness, economic crunch, backbreaking inflation, unabated target killings in parts of country etc then why are we now showing unflinching obsession with this elite democracy? Isn’t it the right time to mull over change in system and even appreciate people like Qadri and Imran for introducing ‘Proportional Representation’ as a significant measure of electoral reforms for bringing genuine democratic polity?

Even if we concede that he resorted to that stunt for political mileage, even then he achieved something; at least he gave hope to the people that they can bring change.

As regards duplicity ascribed to him over conflicting remarks over blasphemy laws, it warrants clarifications from Dr Qadri though conjectures are there that he might have been quoted out of context. Moreover, Qadri might have high political ambitions and lust for power but it should be kept in mind that he is a human being with all frailties. Hence, we should debate about him in non-partisan and objective manner instead of being biased and uninformed. Let’s all give him the benefit of the doubt.


Islamabad, January 31.