Dawn News

SC disqualifies dual national lawmakers

Supreme Court of Pakistan
Supreme Court of Pakistan. — Photo by AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that lawmakers holding dual nationalities were not eligible to hold any public offices and declared all such lawmakers as disqualified, DawnNews reported.

A three-judge bench led by the Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry had earlier reserved its ruling in the case relating to legislators holding dual nationality.

The ECP has also annulled the assembly membership of the of the 11 disqualified lawmakers in accordance with the SC's judgement. The lawmakers include Zahid Iqbal, Farahnaz Ispahani, Muhammad Ikhlaq, Ashraf Chauhan, Nadia Gabol, Amina Buttar, Jameel Awan, Waseem Qadir, Farhat Mahmood Khan, Nadeem Khadim and Ahmed Ali Shah.

Four among the disqualified legislators were from the National Assembly, five from the Punjab Assembly and two from the Sindh Assembly. The bench further directed that the verdict be sent to the speakers of the concerned assemblies and the Senate's chairman.

Disqualified MNAs include Pakistan People's Party's Farahnaz Ispahani, Zahid Iqbal, Muttahida Qaumi Movement's  MNA Farhat Mahmood Khan and Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz's Jameel Awan.

Lawmakers disqualified from the Punjab Assembly include PML-N's Muhammad Ikhlaq, Ashraf Chauhan, Waseem Qadir, Nadeem Khadim and PPP's Amina Buttar.

Legislators disqualified from the Sindh Assembly include PPP's Ahmed Ali Shah and MQM's Nadia Gabol.

The bench said the lawmakers were being disqualified under Article 62 and Article 63 of the Constitution.

The court moreover directed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to initiate proceedings against the said lawmakers who it said had committed perjury with respect to their oaths.

The court also ordered the government to withdraw the amount spent on the salaries and perks on the disqualified lawmakers from them and deposit the amount in the national treasury.

It also directed the Senate and National Assembly secretaries to submit a progress report on the matter in two weeks' time.

Ruling that Rehman Malik was a British citizen until May 29, 2012, the verdict stated that the PPP leader was not transparent with respect to his statements and could no longer be considered 'sadiq' and 'ameen'.

“Mr A Rehman Malik, in view of the false declaration filed by him at the time of contesting the election to the Senate held in the year 2008...cannot be considered sagacious, righteous (and) honest,” Chief Justice Iftikhar said in the ruling.

However, the apex court has reserved its judgement in the dual nationality case against Interior Minister Rehman Malik, which will be announced at an unspecified later date.

The bench also directed the ECP to initiate legal proceedings against Malik over the false declaration. It ordered that a criminal case be registered against the leader, who, it said, had submitted an erroneous affidavit for the 2008 Senate elections in violation of election laws.

The bench ruled the withdrawal of the amount spent on Malik's salary and perks from him and its deposition in the national treasury.

The Senate's chairman should send a reference against Malik, the court ruled, adding that, the minister's affidavit for the Senate's election was not transparent.

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Comments (46) Closed

Ghani ur Rahman
Sep 21, 2012 01:49am
Judgement of the supreme court on dual nationality is highly appreciable. We all Pakistanis should be loyal to motherland when we are holding any public office. This rule should be applied on technocrats, bureaucrats and other key public office holders so that national security and integrity is protected in best manner.
Sep 20, 2012 05:21pm
What can you expect from a political supreme court.
Sep 20, 2012 11:09am
its never late. well done SC. those having dual nationalities do not have right to be people's rep in Pakistan. If they want to serve Pakistani people than their 100% loyalties should be with this country.
Muhammad Ashraf
Sep 20, 2012 11:43am
Our rulers should play the game accoridng to law. If this is being taught to them ... what is worng in it...the mess we are in today is becasue our rulers do not follow rules and law!
Farooq N.Khan
Sep 20, 2012 05:27pm
Excellent CJ! You are doing a great job for this country. Keep up the good job. May God bless you.
Sep 20, 2012 10:37am
Given the real problems that Pakistan is facing, the SC decided to spend its efforts on such a trivial matter.
Sep 20, 2012 12:03pm
There are a lot more than these few mentioned.
Dr Nusrat Cheema
Sep 20, 2012 10:32am
Too late and too little , Selective justice
Sep 20, 2012 10:19am
Put all the corrupt politicians, lawmakers, parliamentarians including the president and the prime minister on ECL immediately. Deal with all them with iron hands and show the result to the public.
Kashif Chohan
Sep 20, 2012 10:17am
Sep 20, 2012 10:11am
Hahahaha What an irony, The court needed to remind us that Rehmam Malik is a lier.
Gerry D'Cunha
Sep 20, 2012 10:09am
eik ticket may doo maza (dual nationality)
Sep 20, 2012 10:07am
Small but a good symbolic step. In reality they can still run away to any country any time by the wealth they have looted. Does not matter whether they hold a foreign nationality their interests are not vested in Pakistan.
Sep 20, 2012 09:23am
why is it an issue to hold dual nationality? It isn;t in any other countries in the world. In my view, dual national can brink a lot to Pakistan (wiseness on how for instance rule of law applies and is respected in the rest of the world), besides the fact that remittance sent by dual nationals is what still keeps our economy afloat...
Asim Nawab
Sep 20, 2012 09:22am
what a shame !
Sep 20, 2012 09:19am
welldone.......... these politicians lie balantly in front of the whole nation must be dealt with heavy handedly.
Sep 20, 2012 09:08am
"The bench also directed the ECP to initiate legal proceedings against Malik over the false declaration. It ordered that a criminal case be registered against the leader, who, it said, had submitted an erroneous affidavit for the 2008 Senate elections in violation of election laws" Hypocrisy at its best. God bless Pakistan
Sep 20, 2012 08:49am
i am sure that nothing is going to happen,mr. rahman malik will not resign,it is shame for whole parliament that membres lie to whole nation.the election commission should take immediate action and recover salaries and allowances paid to these membres who have been disqualified.
Sep 20, 2012 12:23pm
But wait ! Don't shower too many accolades on the Justices of the Supreme Court, They may not turn out to be Soloman-esqu
A Sheikh
Sep 20, 2012 12:23pm
Do you have another magical solution to the problems or are you impacted by the decision? It is a shame that the Supreme Court has to fix things that the government should never have allowed in the first place. Very Well done CJ!!! May Allah bless you. Get rid of as many corrupt politicians as you can before elections.
Javed Anwar
Sep 20, 2012 12:24pm
Sure. May ALLAH Shower His Blessings on CJ. Ameen. ALLAH IS THE GREATEST.
Sep 20, 2012 04:23pm
This is one more headline grabbing verdict. There will be no follow-up, and the matter will die down. We do remeber the case of disqualified members with bogus degrees. Nothing came out of it, except that HEC got burnt, and the bogus degree holders are still members..
Sep 20, 2012 04:49pm
These are strong moves. I hope that these moves will be implemented.
Sep 20, 2012 04:32pm
Please publish those comments as well which you (the editors) do not like. I did not say anything offensive to accepted standards of decency or modesty. I just said that this action is too late and even if all the politicians are removed we would not loose anything and this Chief Justice who is showing off as champion of everything (peace, democracy, justice) is a LOTA himself. So these actions and ruling will bring nothing good. It is just waste of money and time.
Sep 20, 2012 06:38pm
What about those who are no more law makers and were in the cabinet,such as,Moin Qurashi,Shaukat Aziz,Tariq Azim etc etc?At least get hold of them who are in Pakistan and recover the money.What about ECP who knew they were dual citizen holder and looked the other way.Good start but should end well.
Sep 20, 2012 11:35am
Welldone! This will send a strong message to the politicians that one day they will face justice Inshallah! CJ: The country is behind you.
Sep 20, 2012 03:18pm
Beautiful! It is time for these corrupt politicians and their cronies to learn a lesson. Althogh for some people it is very little and too late, it is a good start. One corrupt ploitician at a time. It has been sixty years that these unruly politician are wasting our national resources... it would take sometime to clean that mess. Good job honourable Chief Justice of Pakistan
Muhammad A. Ghmra
Sep 20, 2012 02:30pm
How about the people in high offices in bureaucracy, Military, judiciary and academics, who actually have real power, budget and make policies, politician come and go. in my humble opinion, if you have a dual citizenship, one should not be appointed even a clerk in any level of government, though it seems harsh, but that would be real justice, otherwise it is just a selective justice. Trust me these politicians would be there in one or the other forms, like advisers or similar positions, Unless it is declare that person with dual citizen can not hold any public office, that is treating all citizen equally and that is real justice
Gerry D'Cunha
Sep 20, 2012 01:24pm
these so called disqualified politicians wanted to have 'eik ticket may doo maza' (dual nationality)
Agha Ata
Sep 20, 2012 01:29pm
SC has done just the just thing. The only problem is that if the same honest inquiry is done for every body in the government there will be hardly anyone left to run it,.
shair Khan
Sep 20, 2012 07:22pm
What the Supreme Court needs to understand that they do not make the law. Only enforce the law passed by the legislators. They can make a law unconstitutional if it violated the constitution. The Pakistan parliament has already passed the law that a person of dual nationality can hold an office. It is the right of the parliament to pass the law. The problem is Supreme Court instead of interrupting the law wants to define the law. They should contest election and become member of the parliament and pass laws.
Sep 20, 2012 01:49pm
The Parliament should legislate to disqualify dual nationality holding judges and bureaucrats too
Sep 20, 2012 02:10pm
This is not a trivial matter ..... in my opinion at least ...... it shows that the problems we are facing, the big ones, are because of these dishonest self serving people. Perhaps we might be better if the leaders we choose are honest.
Afzal K.
Sep 20, 2012 01:57pm
This dual nationality drama , you can't sail on two boats at the same time. Law was clear but as usual ECP benignly ignored it. How can you expect next election will be fair. ?
Sep 20, 2012 01:52pm
@Ashraq - You probably live in some Utopia. @ David - You probably do not live in Pakistan. Here, hundreds are murdered, thousands are abused and the fundamental rights of millions are violated every day, and no Law comes to their resque. To me, the plight of the helpless ordinary citizens is far more important than the circus played by the politicians and all others at the top. I stand by my original comment.
Sep 20, 2012 07:38pm
Don't worry, Zardari will come up with another card .
Sep 20, 2012 06:14pm
Good decision by SC. SC must follow it up and take this matter to its logical conclusion.
Sep 20, 2012 12:09pm
Agree with your comments but will it be implemented by people who are supposed to!
Sep 20, 2012 12:34pm
Well DONE , SC.!
B R Chawla
Sep 21, 2012 03:10am
To have a cake and have it too is a very old saying but not yet obsolete with politicians in Pakistan. How can you have divided loyalties. Either be a Pakistani or a Firangi. If you feel so insecure go back to the foreign land where your talents as a politician or a law maker have no takers. At best you would run a kabab shop and clean the utentials after serving your guests. Better stay in Pakistan and exploit the hapless gullible masses. Chawla
Sep 20, 2012 11:56am
Get your facts right. Hey it is an issue in almost every country. You either have to give up your original nationality (us, canada, germany etc) or you cannot hold specific jobs if you are not a born national not naturlised national.
Sep 20, 2012 12:46pm
Rehman Malik Says action will taken against criminal now time is come to take action against him..............
Sep 20, 2012 09:37pm
Rehman Malik you have no moral grounds to hold any public office, please resign, you forget that one day when you will be sent to hell because of lying and plundering the wealth of the country. shame on you and many other ministers like you in Pakistan.
ali liaquat
Sep 21, 2012 03:22am
Salute and hail to the chief. It should be implemented. God bless Chief
Abdullah Hussain
Sep 21, 2012 03:27am
Excellent Judgement - will have far reaching effect. Enough of remote controlled Moin Qureshi like operations in Pakistan. Let pure Pakistanis decide about Pakistan. If some one is so keen to serve Pakistan he should do away with his adopted nationality. Before other nationality is conferred the seeker has to take oath to serve the adopted country above personal considerations of all kind.
David M
Sep 20, 2012 11:58am
Breaking the law is NOT a trivial matter.