SC suspends membership of three MPAs over dual nationality
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Wednesday suspended the memberships of three provincial assembly members in the dual nationality case, DawnNews reported.
However, the charges levelled against Finance Minister Hafiz Shaikh, Deputy Chairman of Senate Sabir Baloch and Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) MNA Khawaja Asif were dropped.
A three-member bench, headed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, conducted the proceedings of the case. Former Interior Minister Rehman Malik, whose membership was temporarily suspended on June 5 on charges of holding British nationality, was unable to provide documents Wednesday which could prove the relinquishment of his British citizenship.
Rehman Malik’s counsel, Chaudhry Azhar, on being enquired about the status of the aforementioned documents said that his client was “busy fighting a war against militancy,” which is why he was unable to provide the court with the evidence.
Moreover, Farahnaz Isphahani’s counsel did not attend the hearings of the court on which the Chief Justice said, “that the court will not send individual invites. If someone does not want to attend the proceedings they are free to do so.”
Khawaja Asif, Anoushey Rahman, Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Zahid Iftikhar, Tariq Mehmood and Sabir Baloch firmly denied the charges of holding dual citizenships after which the applicants who levelled the charges against the aforementioned politicians apologized and retracted their accusations.
During the hearing, PML-N’s member of the Punjab Assembly, Muhammad Ikhlaq, admitted of holding an American nationality and further said that he ran for the elections twice, however, he was unaware of the law regarding the dual nationality. The court appreciated his forthrightness but also said that he no one will be discriminated.
Attorney General Irfan Qadir raised objections and said that the court cannot suspend anyone’s membership, which is why all the suspended politicians should be reinstated.
The court disregarded the objections and suspended the membership of Amina Butter, Muhammad Ikhlaq, Ahmed Ali Shah, whereas other five defendants were given another chance to prove their claims.
The hearing was adjourned till June 21.