Record of suspended MPs sought
LAHORE, July 26: The Lahore High Court chief justice on Thursday directed the Election Commission of Pakistan to present record of all those parliamentarians whose assembly memberships had been suspended by the Supreme Court on grounds of having dual nationality.
The CJ issued the direction hearing a petition seeking disqualification of PML-N MPA Rana Asif Mahmood on dual nationality grounds.
The petitioner’s counsel in his arguments said the SC had already suspended memberships of many parliamentarians for enjoying dual nationality, therefore, the assembly membership of the respondent being a Canadian national should also be suspended.
Opposing the petition, counsel for the respondent (MPA) argued that his client was not a citizen of Canada but enjoyed status of being a national. He said the constitutional bar on parliamentarians of dual nationality did not apply to his client.
Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial rejected the argument and remarked that apparently there was no difference between citizenship and the nationality. He further remarked that the respondent’s counsel was trying to mislead the court. He said the court could suspend the assembly membership of Rana Asif besides taking stern action.
Justice Bandial observed that Rana Asif should not spoil his personal integrity to protect short-term political office.
The CJ adjourned further hearing till Aug 3 and sought record of the suspended parliamentarians from the ECP.
A citizen, Faisal Ilyas Sadiq, filed the petition seeking disqualification of Mahmood. He submitted that the respondent was a Canadian national and under article 63 of the Constitution a person holding dual nationality could not be elected as member of