Dual nationality: membership of PML-N MNA from Gujrat suspended -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Dual nationality: membership of PML-N MNA from Gujrat suspended

Islamabad: while resuming the hearing of a dual nationality case on Tuesday, the apex court suspended the membership of another PML-N parliamentarian. The membership of PML-N MNA Malik Jamil Awan was suspended for holding the nationality of Holland. He was elected MNA from NA-107, Gujrat constituency.

A three-member SC bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, heard a petition seeking disqualification of parliamentarians holding dual nationality. Mahmood Akhtar Naqvi had filed a petition in the court, requesting it to direct the ECP to obtain complete record of parliamentarians who held dual nationalities. He further pleaded that the court should disqualify such parliamentarians and restrain them from contesting the next general election.

The court had already suspended the membership of a number of parliamentarians. They included Farahnaz Ispahani, PPP MNA and spouse of Hussain Haqqani and Rehman Malik, advisor to PM on interior. During the course of proceeding, the Chief Justice said if the process of dual nationality of parliamentarians continue then country’s prime minister in future would be an American businessman. The court observed that in past Pakistan had prime ministers. Picking up their briefcases, such prime ministers abandoned the country upon completion of their tenures.

Anwar Mansoor, counsel for Rehman Malik, said Shaukat Aziz and Moeen Qureshi were the two prime ministers of Pakistan, who were having dual nationality. Justice Jawwad S Khawaja said their cases were not before the court. But if the counsel filed petitions against them, then the court could issue notices to them as well.

The CJP remarked that the Supreme Court judges did not have personal enmity with anyone. The court observed that if a dual nationality holder would become the prime minister of the country then one could imagine about the fate of country. The Chief Justice said that there was a debate in media to amend the Article related to dual nationals and Waseem Sajjad, the counsel for Farahnaz, also requested the court that the word ‘or’ in Article 63(1)(c) should be read as ‘and’. The Chief Justice said legislation is the job of parliament, therefore the court would not amend the constitution. Mansoor further argued that the cases of parliamentarians’ disqualification should be sent to the proper forum (Speaker/Chairman) as this court had no jurisdiction. The Chief Justice said: “If the country’s prime minister’s and chief justice’s trial could be held then why not others’.” Mansoor completed his arguments. The hearing was adjourned till July 4 (today).

Business Recorder