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Pakistan: A close inside look at the Minhajul Quran of Dr Qadri
ISLAMABAD, (The News): While aggressively fighting for instant electoral reforms, Dr Tahirul Qadri along with his six other family members has a firm control over the Idara Minhajul Quran (IMQ), a non-governmental organization (NGO), registered under the Societies Registration Act 1860, documents show.
Three leading personalities, who are supposedly part of the twenty members of the IMQ Board of Directors (BoD), are not even aware they sit on the body.
When contacted former Chief Justice of Pakistan Sheikh Riaz Hussain said that several years ago he was member of BoD of Minhaj-ul-Quran University, but did not know about his status in recent years. “Long time ago, I was on the list of board members but I don’t know about my position now.”
Prof Humayun Ehsan, a respected figure of Lahore, told The News that he does not know that he is on the IMQ BoD. He said he would check the list of BoD to know whether or not he was its member. He said that one of his friends asked him about the same a short while ago. “I told him that I do not know anything about it before that.”
Farooq Amjad Meer, a leader of the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) and former member of the National Assembly belonging to the Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q), who has also been cited as a board member in the documents available with the Registrar, Societies, Lahore, filed by the IMQ, categorically stated that he resigned from it three years ago. “I have no link with it anymore.”
However, when approached for comments IMQ Director Media and spokesman Qazi Faizul Islam stated what was different from the documents the NGO has submitted to the Registrar, Societies.
Faizul Islam said that Dr Qadri and his two sons, Hassan Mohyuddin and Hassain Mohyuddin, were BoD members. No other person of his family is member or part of any other thing in the IMQ.
He said that the elder son of Dr Qadri is the head of Supreme Council of Minhaj-ul-Quran while his younger son is chief of Federal Council. He said that neither Prof Humayun Ehsan nor Justice (R) Sheikh Riaz Hussain or Meer is members of the IMQ board. He said that the IMQ BoD is separate from the BoD of Minhaj-ul-Quran University.
Faizul Islam said Dr Qadri is the founder of IMQ but “we do not mention him as lifetime patron-in-chief.” He said that the Pakistan Awami Tehrik holds its elections that Dr Qadri also contests and normally gets elected unopposed.
It is possible that changes in the BoD by the IMQ were not communicated to the Registrar, to amend the record accordingly.
However, as per the IMQ documents, filed with the Registrar, under the signatures of the secretary general of the NGO, the quorum of a BoD meeting is one-third of the total membership, which means that the Dr Qadir’s family enjoys all powers to take decisions. A BoD meeting can be called any time when a decision can be reached by the controlling family.
Different NGOs assign different names like managing committee, executive committee or Majli-e-Amla in place of BoD. Their members are considered trustees as they handle public donations. They are required to annually submit to the registrar their audited accounts showing income and expenditures, performance and any changes in the BoD.
According to the documents, Dr Qadri is the founding chairman and patron-in-chief for life of the IMQ. His hold on the NGO as per the IMQ constitution can be well judged from the fact that elections to all its levels will be approved by the patron-in-chief. He will also decide about his successor.
The IMQ had filed two constitutions. The original one, “Dastor-ul-Amal”, was submitted to the Rgistrar Societies, in 1982. Later in 2006 a new reformed constitution (Memorandum of Association and Rules and Regulations) was filed with the Rgistrar.
A study of the IMQ constitutions and BoD and powers vested in the patron-in-chief reveal certain facts.
Documents show that as per clause 5 of the IMQ’s 1982 constitution the governing body will be composed of the President, Vice President and Joint Secretary through election while Senior Vice President, General Secretary, Finance Secretary; Press Secretary and its three other members would be nominated by the patron-in-chief. It means seven out of eleven members of this body would be nominated.
After the reforms introduced in the cnstitution in 2006, the power of appointing new directors and discharging of existing members of the governing body is vested in the founding chairman and then in his nominated successor in the event of his retirement or death. All decisions and resolutions of BoD are subject to the approval of Dr Qadri.
In the original constitution, elections were to be held every two years. This was raised to three years in the 2006 reforms. The procedure of elections is to be formulated by the BoD and all of its decisions and resolutions are subject to the approval of founding chairman.
The members of Shoora-e-Khas will also be nominated by the patron-in-chief. In case of any dispute between different forums, he shall have the casting vote. As per 2006 reforms Dr Qadri has the final appeal on any issue.
According the memorandum, quorum of governing body is one-third or three directors of BOD. Seven BoD members belong to family of Dr Qadri since 2004.
From 2004 to 2006, the members of the BoD were Dr Qadri, Hassan Mohyuddin, son of Dr Qadri, Hassain Mohyuddin, son of Dr Qadri, Mrs. Rifat Parveen Qadri, wife of Dr Qadri, Mrs Ghazala Hassan Qadri, daughter-in-law of Dr Qadri, Mrs Quratul Ain Fatima, daughter of Dr Qadri, Ms Ayesha Quratul Ain, daughter of Dr Qadri, Dawood Hussain, son of Manzoor Hussain, Manzoor Hussain, son of Ghulam Rasool, Malik Fazal Hussain, Javed Iqbal Qadri, Raheeq Ahmad Abbasi, and Muhammad Musatafa.
In 2009, seven members were added to the BoD by Dr Qadri. They included Ahmad Nawaz Anjum, Shahid Latif Qadri, Justice (R) Sheikh Riaz Hussain, Shahid Mursalin, son of Manzoor Hussain, Farooq Amjad Meer, Prof Humayun Ehsan, and Muhammad Aslam, advocate.
The IMQ was registered for the first time in 1982 under the Societies Registration Act 1860 with the Director Industries, Punjab, who at that time used to be the Registrar for the joint stock companies.
The IMQ is headquartered in a complex built over 162 kanals of state land in Model Town Lahore, having the present value of some Rs3 billion. The Lahore Development Authority had allotted this piece of land to it.
In the previous constitution a provision of annual audit by a government approved auditor was provided, which was removed during 2006 as part of the reforms.
While the IMQ website gives no information about the constitution, BoD, finances or audited accounts, all this is available with the concerned Punjab government department.
A leading operator of an NGO told The News that Societies Act 1860 is one of the many laws under which such organizations and other civil society bodies normally get registered. Many NGOs prefer to register under this law since the regulatory requirements and powers of regulator to take disciplinary action under it are considered patchy. Other laws under which civil society organizations register are section 42 of the Companies Ordinance 1984, the Trusts Act and the Social and Voluntary Organizations Ordinance 1960.
He said NGOs like IMQ are social sector delivery institutions outside government structures. In recent decades they have come to command great power, resources and influence. Hence there has been a considerable demand world over to have Charter of Ethics for NGOs and civil society organizations.
According to him, some of the key aspects of Charter of Ethics and Core Values which credible and respected NGOs cherish and proactively practice globally are accountability, trustfulness, non-profit character and integrity, good governance and management, transparency, internal democracy, participatory decision making, and volunteerism.
He said accountability is vital for NGOS to maintain their own legitimacy and credibility. To uphold public trust and credibility, NGO systems and structures are required to be transparent, accountable and democratic in decision making and to have a spirit of public mindedness so that the public money is not misused and public assets are treated with seriousness, as a sacred trust.
For this very reason, genuine NGOs religiously share audited finances and important governance and management decisions on their websites and also to regulators. Credible NGOs publicly disclose information and honestly and transparently report on its activities, governance structures and financial management to public at large.
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