By Ilyas Choudry, TMO Contributor
Editor’s note: Ilyas Choudry is a TMO Contributor. Any opinions are his own.
“People ask why the sit in (Dharna): I want to inform them including Honorable President Barrack Obama that these efforts, sacrifices, and sit-ins are to get the firm guarantees for the people of Pakistan to get their human rights, which are guaranteed by the Constitution, just like Americans enjoy all the basic human rights & privileges’ of being the citizen of USA.”
These were the words of the chairman of the Pakistan Awami Tahreek (PAT), Dr. Allama Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, as he spoke in front of hundreds of expatriate Pakistanis in Houston Texas at the only Pakistan Center in the US; and Dr. Qadri were played with loud tone & music, while several times slogans of “Go Nawaz Go” were made by passionate supporters of PAT.
“I would like people of New York, Dallas, and Houston, where I have spoken during this short trip of USA, to establish local Chapters of PAT, so as to support the constitutional struggle & revolution in Pakistan of human rights for all Pakistanis; and all the various organizations’ of Pakistan in USA form the ‘American Union of Overseas Pakistanis’ so as to organize and unify the work & voice for a stronger Pakistan,” said Dr. Qadri.
This public gathering was arranged by Zaki Niazi Sahab of King Fuel Houston; Zafar Iqbal Sahab of PAT USA; Tasleem Siddiqui & Khalid Khan of American Union of Overseas Pakistanis; and several community volunteers.
There was heavy security present with large guns in their hands, and few people had access to Dr. Allama Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri.
Program started with Tilawate Qurane Pak by Hafiz Hamza, which was followed by Naat by Hafiz Mukaram Niazi. After that Zafar Iqbal Sahab of PAT USA andTasleem Siddiqui Sahab welcomed everyone to the program at short notice, and introduced the speaker. Dr. Qadri spoke for more than one hour.
Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri’s speech was mainly about the first forty articles of the Constitution of Pakistan that talks about the Sovereignty of the Laws of God as brought to the humanity through Quran by Messenger Muhammad (May Allah SWT Peace & Blessings Be Upon Him); and the promises made by the State of Pakistan to her citizens in terms of their basic human rights of clean drinking water, food, clothes, shelter, health, education, safeguard of life & sanctity of persons, equality of everyone in the eyes of law, right to vote, and much more.
“Having such a wonderful constitution of Pakistan and still no progress & development in Pakistan is hard to fathom for a sane mind. Reason basically is that politicians have placed the constitution behind their backs. In our sit ins, I have taught all the Pakistanis the whole constitution. It is now up to each & every Pakistani to struggle to achieve their rights already written for them by the State of Pakistan,” added Dr. Qadri.
He went on to say that to get all the citizens the basic human rights, it is necessary to have devolution of power in Pakistan, where not just four provinces make the decisions for 200 Million population. Turkey with about 75 Million people has 81 provinces; so in Pakistan if not that many, at least have 25 to 30 provinces (or the same number of provinces as the Divisions in Pakistan), and once that is done, all the districts and union councils at cities & villages levels will devolve the powers to that extend that if one is Chief Minister of Lahore, then it does not matter much (this resulted in several loud “Go Nawaz Go” slogans).
“We will not do as was done in case of Raymond Davis. We will take everyone responsible of the innocent killings and beating up of several persons of PAT in Model Town earlier this year, through a systematic government level terrorism against innocent citizens,” said Dr. Qadri.
He advised Imran Khan of Pakistan Tahrikae Insaaf not to believe the deceitful rulers as they have always betrayed as per PAT and PTI experiences of the past. He said that these rulers do not have any credibility, adding it was for this reason that PAT has decided to wrap up Islamabad sit-on on its own and convert it into a countrywide movement, rather than trusting the rulers.
Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri thanked the Pakistani expatriate community for a very welcome extended to him during his visit of the US and their massive and passionate participation in the short noticed programs in New York, Dallas and Houston. He paid a glowing tribute to the overseas Pakistanis for their patriotism, saying that they feel far more strongly for Pakistan than their compatriots living in the country. He said that PAT’s struggle is aimed at gifting every Pakistani irrespective of whether he lives abroad or inside a country that is peaceful and where law holds sway.
He said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif backtracked from his commitment of conferring ‘right to vote’ on the overseas Pakistanis, adding that we would make them get this right. He said that overseas Pakistanis have always risen to occasion and have been forefront in the efforts to help their fellow countrymen, be it earthquake, flood or other disasters. He said that foreign remittances of the Diaspora community are a major source of revenue in the country. He vowed not to let anyone exploit them anymore.
Dr. Qadri said that he spent 55 years of his life serving the people of Pakistan; during he also served the overseas Pakistanis by living in Canada for eight years where he successfully pleaded Pakistan’s case against terrorism, militancy and extremism. He said that he has now settled in Pakistan forever where he has committed to bringing about revolution.