ISLAMABAD - A single bench of the Islamabad High Court Thursday deferred hearing in a petition challenging the inclusion of Atif Mian in the newly-constituted Economic Advisory Council by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government.

An IHC single bench comprising Justice Aamer Farooq conducted hearing of the petition moved by Hafiz Ehtisham Ahmad in person and adjourned the proceedings after the petitioner sought some time to respond the constitutional points raised by the court.

During the hearing, Justice Aamer remarked that it is petitioner’s allegation that Ahmadi’s did not accept Constitution of Pakistan and their religious position described in the constitution.

At this, Hafiz replied that in this regard, the court may seek a certificate from Atif Mian regarding acceptance of his religious constitutional position. Then the petitioner added that he would have no objection over inclusion of Atif in EAC.

Justice Aamer Farooq asked that whether it is prohibited in the Constitution that a non-Muslim could not be appointed against a post. Hafiz answered that there is no constitutional bar in this connection. However, he insisted on issuance of notices to the respondents.

The bench directed him to first constitutionally satisfy the court before issuance of the notices. Then, the petitioner sought some time to make preparations in this regard. Justice Aamer accepted his plea and deferred the hearing with date in office.

The petitioner cited Prime Minister through Principal Secretary, Secretary Finance, Secretary Law, Secretary Interior, Secretary Defense, Chairman National Data and Registration Authority (NADRA) and Dr Arif Mian member EAC as respondents. Hafiz Ehtisham stated that Prime Minister Imran Khan has constituted an 18-member EAC while Secretary Finance has issued notification dated August 31 in this connection. He added that the PM had also included Dr Atif in the EAC as a member private sector.

The petitioner continued that Atif is member of Ahmadi community while he is also allegedly a relative of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani. He contended that there is no space for EAC in the Constitution of Pakistan and in presence of the National Economic Council (NEC) there is no justification for formulation of EAC. He maintained that establishment of EAC is unconstitutional and illegal while inclusion of Atif Mian in the EAC is also unconstitutional and illegal. He continued that Ahmadis by concealing their real religious identity are getting higher posts in government and semi-government institutions, bureaucracy, armed forces and judiciary. He said that appointment of Ahmadis against higher posts is a threat to country’s security.

The petitioner added that all from respondent No 1 to 5 knew about the Ahmadis who are working on higher posts but they are avoiding to take action against them. Therefore, Hafiz Ehtisham prayed to the court to suspend the said notification issued by Secretary Finance. He requested the court that it may also direct chairman NADRA to submit complete details of Atif Mian before it.

The petitioner further prayed to the court to direct respondent No 1 to 5 to submit list of all Ahmadi people deputed on higher posts in government and semi-government institutions, bureaucracy, armed forces and judiciary before it.