ISLAMABAD: The fate of 16 lawmakers, presumably dual nationals, now lies with the Supreme Court as the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) sent the names to the apex court of the legislators who submitted affidavits affirming not to be dual nationals.
The electoral body said on Monday that in compliance with the Supreme Court’s judgment, the ECP sent the lists to the SC registrar containing the names of senators, members national assembly (MNAs) and members provincial assemblies (MPAs), who submitted their nationality declaration forms along with those who failed to submit the declaration by November 30. Sixteen lawmakers, nine MNAs, six MPAs and a senator, who resigned last week did not submit their statements to affirm that they were not the dual nationality holders.
The legislators who resigned are: Maulana Muhammad Qasim, Syed Allauddin, Chaudhry Tassaduq Masud Khan, Syed Tayyab Hussain, Dr Nadeem Ehsan, Haider Abbass Rizvi, Sabeen Rizvi, Fauzia Ejaz, Dr Araish Kumar and Senator Malik Salahuddin Dogar, Murad Ali Shah, Sadiq Ali Memon, Abdul Moid Siddique, Askari Taqvi, Muhammad Ali Shah and Raza Haroon. Reportedly, the ECP has already sent the cases of two dual national MNAs, Donia Aziz and Arif Aziz Sheikh, to the SC.
Both the legislators informed the election commission that they did not acquire foreign nationality but dual national by birth. This, according to them, does not attract the application of Article 63 (1) (c) for their disqualification from parliament. The article disqualifies a legislator who acquires foreign citizenship or ceases to be a citizen of Pakistan but does not specify any details for dual-nationality by birth On September 20, the SC had convicted 12 legislators for having dual-nationality and presenting false declarations in the apex court.
Apart from Interior Minister Rehman Malik, whose case is being dealt separately, the ECP de-notified the memberships of 11 legislators and sent their cases to the sessions judges concerned for initiating criminal proceedings. On September 24, the ECP asked all the lawmakers to submit declarations on the ECP-approved forms regarding dual nationality. – Nation