Sensing danger to their political empires, most political leaders, especially the main parties are in the forefront in castigating Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri for his march for change. They question his dual nationality, his source of funding to the tune of billions, his call for change at such a belated time.

Whether he is a saint or a scoundrel has no importance, I am just concerned with what he says and demands, that is, ‘clean and honest electoral system’ to give us good and honest people to elect from. I sincerely hope and pray that our present political leaders don’t oppose such an electoral system. My question from everyone is, don’t they want the candidates for the coming elections to be honest, sagacious, non-profligate? If yes, then how will we find them?

We have a way to measure their worth by Articles 62 (f) and 63 of the constitution. One way of doing it could be to ask the candidates to proffer the followings along with their nomination forms to the ECP. A list of their assets, including those of their spouse(s) and children. Fully paid tax return, paid utility bills of their residences. They should have clear and paid property (ies) tax, taxes on all personal or family vehicle(s). Their bank statement(s) as well as statements about any bank loans taken by them or their family, declaring that the candidate has neither gotten any bank loans ever written off nor has been a bank defaulter ever. Brief detail of the litigations in the courts and their present status. A ‘character certificate’ from at least 40 persons duly endorsed by the Khatib of the mosque of his/ her area.

An affidavit by the candidate declaring that he/she or anyone else on his/her behalf has not paid anything in any way or in any coin or kind to the political party or to anyone in the party for securing the party nomination and ticket. By doing this most of the undesirable candidates could easily be weeded out and we would have good and honest politicians to choose from.

COL RIAZ JAFRI (R),

Rawalpindi, January 4.