ISLAMABAD: Election Commission of Pakistan on Wednesday wrote to the Senate, the National Assembly, provincial assemblies and different ministries to provide it with information about the dual nationality of elected representatives.
The commission, at its meeting chaired by the Chief Election Commissioner Justice (Retd) Fakhruddin G Ibrahim, had decided to seek such information from different government departments and the general public.
In this regard the commission has written to the Secretaries; National Assembly, Senate, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Provincial Assemblies of Punjab, Sindh, KP and Balochistan to obtain names of such parliamentarians who have dual nationality and send this information to the ECP at the earliest possible, but not latter than two weeks.
The commission has also asked the public at large to provide concrete information, if any, to the ECP regarding dual nationality of any Senator, MNA or MPA.
When contacted, the sources at the commission revealed to APP that in view of the dual nationality controversy and suspension of membership of a few members, the commission has decided to give serious consideration to the issue.
“The commission will be fulfilling its constitutional duty as explained in sub-articles of Article 63 by addressing the dual nationality issue,” the sources said.
An experts of the constitutional and election affairs commented that the article 63 (1) about dual nationality holders is already there in the constitution but was not properly taken care of. However, if the commission has decided to proceed on it, it shall be fulfilling its constitutional obligation.
A few months back, it was the present Secretary Election Commission Ishtiak Ahmed Khan who had taken up the issue of dual nationality properly. Another Secretary ECP Hassan Muhammad had also explained to media few years back when former Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz was preparing to contest election on an MNA seat, that dual nationality holders could not become members of parliament, but the matter was hushed up.
However, when Ishtiak Khan raised the issue with proper argument, it raised the eye brows of many. The Supreme Court of Pakistan also suspended membership of some National and provincial assemblies’ members.
Although the commission once again discussed the matter at its meeting the sources believed that there is least possibility to disturb the present set up. But the commission has decided to ensure that in future no dual nationality holder gets elected to the parliament.