Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri’s Birthday in Pakistan Date in the current year: February 19, 2024

Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri’s Birthday in Pakistan On February 19, some Pakistanis celebrate the birthday of Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, a well-known Islamic scholar and politician. This holiday doesn’t have any official status, but it is widely observed by Qadri’s supporters in Pakistan and abroad.

Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri was born on February 19, 1951. At his parents’ insistence, he received both religious and secular education. Having received an MA in Islamic Studies and a PhD in Islamic law from the University of Punjab, he stayed there to work as a lecturer and then as a professor of international constitutional law.

In 1980, Qadri founded Minhaj-ul-Quran International, a non-governmental organization that focuses on Sufism (Islamic mysticism) and spiritual development, human rights, fighting extremism and promoting peace. Nine years later, he embarked on a political career by founding the Pakistan People’s Movement (Pakistan Awami Tehreek), a political party supporting moderate Islamism, Islamic socialism and Islamic democracy.

Pakistan Awami Tehreek participated in the 1990 and 2002 general elections. As the party’s founder and leader, Qadri took on the role of an opposition leader who draw attention to government’s mistakes and suggested ways to resolve political, economic, and social issues.

In 2004, Qadri resigned as a member of the National Assembly in protest against the failed counter-terrorism policy of the government, political corruption and blackmailing, lack of democracy and political transparency, and broken promises made by President Pervez Musharraf. It was the first resignation of a National Assembly member in the history of Pakistan.

Following his resignation, Qadri moved to Canada and lived in Toronto for seven years. He returned to Pakistan in 2012 and immediately initiated a political campaign against governmental corruption. In January 2013, Qadri organized a public protest known as the Long March. Thousands of people marched from Lahore to Islamabad, demanding an electoral reform. Three days after the beginning of the protest, the government and the protesters struck an agreement.

Two years later, fourteen Pakistan Awami Tehreek activists were killed by the police in a violent clash in Lahore. The Lahore incident was followed by another protest led by Qadri. The so-called Inqilab March lasted from August to October 2014. The protesters demanded an official investigation against the policemen involved in the massacre and, once again, an electoral reform.

Since Qadri is a member of the opposition, his birth anniversary isn’t an official observance and has no government recognition. However, it is celebrated by members of Minhaj-ul-Quran International and other supporters of Quadri’s views to recognize his contribution to Islamic studies and political struggle.

Photo: World Economic Forum, by Jolanda Flubacher

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