Asma Jahangir - File photo

KARACHI: Former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association Asma Jahangir has termed Supreme Court’s verdict in the dual nationalities case akin to opening a Pandora’s Box, BBC Urdu reported on Friday.

Reacting to the apex court’s decision of declaring a member of the parliament ineligible for holding his position on the pretext of not being righteous, honest and ‘ameen,’ Jahangir said the court’s response is unlike anything that has been seen by the SC in the past and that it had seemingly taken over the Election Commission of Pakistan’s powers regarding lawmakers’ eligibility for holding office.

“If the Zia-era articles used by the court to dismiss lawmakers were to be applied on its own judges, it would leave several court benches empty,” Jahangir said.

The court disqualified 11 members of parliament and provincial assemblies, but spared Interior Minister Rehman Malik, who was sentenced for submitting a false declaration was a court observation that he could not be considered righteous.

Answering a question on the judgment of a person’s righteousness, the former SCBA president said that no limits or judging criteria could be put in place for such an assessment.

“Politicians have been known to change their statements around and their actions are different from the claims they make on television,” she said.

Meanwhile, legal expert advocate Salman Akram Raja said that the SC decision could set a trend in dismissing lawmakers.

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Comments (85)

Muhammad Choudhry
September 22, 2012 10:47 am
Asma Bibi is very supportive to Law Makers even with fake degrees Respected Asma do you think Fake degree holders are Amin and Honest? Say what is right, just trying to please PPP. USA
Syed Mumtazuddin Ahmed
September 22, 2012 4:54 am
No body is calling overseas Pakistanis dishonest. I will venture to add that overseas Pakistanis are more honest, natonalistic and loyal to Pakistan, regardless of their resident status in their adopted homeland. At the same time for the good of Pakistan, I think it is essential that people who want to be in assemblies, parliament, judiciary, administration etc., must not hold dual or foreign nationality, or even permanent resident status elsewhere, because of possible conflict of interest.
Ali Abbas
September 21, 2012 3:58 pm
I know many belonging to right wing idiology will rejoice at the dismissal of some parliamentarian especially belonging to PPP. I hope they relaize that recent SC verdicts are simply dangerous for the country, these verdicts will come back to haunt the rest of the country and soon. Even Zia was more careful than out present CJ.
Ajaya K Dutt
September 21, 2012 9:12 pm
You are right. She is wrong
September 21, 2012 8:27 pm
I do not see any reason to criticise supreme court judjement ,constitution does not allow dual nationality for lawmakers.
September 21, 2012 7:05 pm
Few cases are given a high priority by Supreme Court to keep persons like Shaukat Aziz, Pervaiz Musharraf out of Pakistan while others are left in limbo. What happened to high profile cases like Punjab Bank Scandal Case, the Case of two brother killed by a mob in Sialkot, Case of inapproprian of govt. farmland to high ups to build palacial houses? Supreme Court has failed to provide easy access and fairplay to provide justice to a common man on the street. Prosecution quality is extremely low and police fail to bring credible evidence against a day light murderer and non of such prosecutors are given any punishment who waste tax payers money.
Ali Ansari
September 21, 2012 4:39 pm
I agree with you Ali. Seems like supreme court judges have formed a parallel government.
September 21, 2012 10:50 pm
its shameful that a person like Asma Jehangir's stature utters words like this. Then to supplement her arguments she claimed if such a criteria is put on judges then there will be many vacant benches. she forgot that the judges are also part of her legal fraternity. Again she supports the "dual" faces of the local politicians terming it pure "politics". what a shame Ms Jehangir??
Mohammad Akram
September 21, 2012 8:52 pm
Do I have to understand that when a person accepts to be a national of another country he/she does not take the oath of allegiance, what world is Asma Jehangir living in. Does she mean to make us understand that she does not even know the basics of nationality? I commend Supreme Court and the Judges for taking a bold and honest decision.
September 21, 2012 4:44 pm
Let this criteria now be applied to the Judiciary, security and the Armed forces. This will entale no traitors in our midst. If anyone should complain then they are a traitor to Pakistan
saeed tahir
September 21, 2012 10:11 pm
ms jahngir is losing her mind or speaking PPP language,when some one lie to the whole nation to commit a fraud how can someone defend him making petty excuses. doesn't matter what happened in the past that is no excuse to let it go on for ever that any one can lie in their statements to election commission and get away with it saying ohh it happened in past as tomorrow a murderer can claim that he is very good person and contest election. i think we should start ignoring Ms asma jahgir as a person who lost the plot
salim Khan
September 22, 2012 3:16 am
CJP is doing everything for the betterment of Pakistan, Unless and Until these dishonest person are bowled out, Pakistan will remain in this mess.
September 22, 2012 2:31 am
In my opinion, if you do not agree with any article in the constitution, one should campaign to get such provision amended or dropped. When a person like Asma Jahangir criticizes the court for following an available constitutional path, it is simply mindbogglingly to read such criticism. A person having legal expertise to oppose what is constitutional shows that why we are in the current mess as the elite of this country insists to have double standards. If something is wrong in the constitution, just plead and seek support to get rid of it instead of giving illogical statements that just sound opposition for the sake of opposition only.
September 21, 2012 10:24 pm
Law is crystal clear. You can't have dual nationality if you want to become law maker.You can't sail in two boats at the same time.
September 21, 2012 10:19 pm
Do you know who is running the country ? President who by the constitution is a figure head of the government. Executive power lies with the prime minister. Do you see prime minister in the fore front ? It is Zardari show all the way, he is even chairman of PPP and conducts party business from the presidency as well,Good or bad, CJ & SC are the only alternative we have.
September 21, 2012 6:13 pm
If forign immegration holders list is checked as it is likely that most of the parliment and the Judiciary will have UK or USA or Canadian permanent residency status but have not taken the nationality for some reason. This will include PPP, PML-N, PTI and other party big names. Let someone raise this question. Desiboy Canada
September 21, 2012 3:29 pm
How can one wrong can make the other wrong right?. If righteous people are not there on benches then let's fight and get rid of them. How can you justify that you have the right to be wrong because someone else is wrong. I had a big regard for this lady but I guess now she has lost her intellect and passion for righteousness.
September 21, 2012 3:07 pm
Can Asma bibi define her standards for righteousness and honesty ?. It is indeed a very depressing statement. Instead of giving this statement, she should welcome it and come out against those judges and lawyers who does not qualify these standards. But she will not, as she is a PPP person and these traits have no meaning for her.
September 21, 2012 3:41 pm
Ms. Jahangir should stay quiet. She is not the one sitting on the Supreme Court nor is she a judge. She is just a lawyer. If she is confident that she competent, then she should file a case in the Supreme Court to test to see who knows more about the constitution / law.
Farrakh Hussain
September 21, 2012 8:22 pm
No you are not missing anything.
Khalid Khan
September 21, 2012 5:08 pm
Khalid Khan I find the sc verdict right though my self I am dual national. If some dose the right thing our society dont let them do it. The verdict makes billion time sence & Mohtarma Asma sahiba should also respect the court of law. I am watching it that is getting out of hand for no reason. I hope she will realize soon.
September 21, 2012 6:17 pm
MP;s should stand firm and oppose this verdict, simply deny to leave parliaments and behave as nothing doing. Let SC give verdicts that they cannot impllement. This is very important otherwise Pakistans democratic system will remain at the mercy of SC. Anybody can understand SC is just targeting PPP led government.
Amin Hussain
September 21, 2012 4:19 pm
According to the article, so far the only disqualification that has taken place has been according to laws against dual nationality.... those seem pretty straightforward and not really open to much varied interpretation. Am i missing something?
September 21, 2012 10:07 pm
Why more troubles ? If constitution forbids dual nationality holders from becoming members of the parliament, then they should be debarred. CJ is not making new law, he is enforcing it. Ms. Jehangir has some vested interest.
September 21, 2012 9:39 pm
First of all the CJP should do justice in the case of his son. If this would be the similar case in the west their chief Justice should have resigned from his post.
September 21, 2012 9:47 pm
Ms Jehangir has time and again proven that she is a PPPJiyala. By some of her statements, I am beginning to suspect that objectivity is not one of her qualities. She criticises the judgements of judges and appears to be judgemental about them. I had always been including her amongst the persons who could be relied upon to speak the truth but alas where else go searching for persons who are courageous and brave, upholding the truth.. The judiciary may have their own black sheep but I fail to see the connection between that and the judgement on dual nationality. My wife swore to uphold the constituion of the country we have migrated to and I intend to follow suit. Having studied what I am in for , I am convinced that I must not be allowed to hold any public office in Pakistan
September 22, 2012 4:16 pm
On a personal basis, this is not a bad act, indeed a very good one. But in legal system or morals system things are seen differently.
Honest Belief
September 21, 2012 8:11 pm
Definitely, that is why the Chief Justice's Son is under scrutiny and is being protected by his father as is ex-Prime Minister Gilani's son. Hoorah
Mazher A. Khan
September 22, 2012 2:00 am
A very GOOD Precedent for all that nobody is above the law.
September 21, 2012 10:04 pm
My dear there are a few judges in the court who hold dual nationalities what zbout them
September 21, 2012 3:38 pm
If the ECP is not doing their job correctly than the court has to do their job. It would be better if Asma Jehangir stop defending the law breakers and start praising the righteous. Her recent comments are very shady. Makes no sense to me why in the world a lawyer would try to down play the role of a court or the decision of a judge. If she has a problem than she can file an appeal and fight the case pro bono for candidates that she is trying to defend. If a candidate is falsifying his or her application than the courts and ECP have the power to disqualify the candidate. Wake up Asma and wake up Pakistanion. Pakistan Zindabad
September 21, 2012 3:08 pm
I would not like her statement. At least for the dignity and sanctity of the apex court. It is wise enough to dislodge the so called elites having multiple loyalties. People criticize feudal lords why not those who show double standards. I am with the decision of the supreme court.
Ajaya K Dutt
September 21, 2012 9:10 pm
The suggestion is not to put the lid on. The statement, open the Pandora's Box, implies that a step has been taken that shall result in many more troubles.
September 21, 2012 4:13 pm
It's not a matter of right or left, PPP, PML, etc. It's all about what is right and what is wrong. Pakistan has not known the true definition of the meaning "LAW" for almost 50 years. You had one set of laws for the rich and influential and one set for the poor. Whether you like the CJ and the rest of the supreme court or, the rulings they are passing are a bitter medicine for the country that has not known true Justice. Yes, the rulings will be painful (for some) but let's give the "Law" a chance to take it's course. The country has been run by dictators and corrupt politicians for too long. It's time for people to stand up and demand Justice for all!
September 21, 2012 4:26 pm
so we are ok with status quo? Is it justified to lie to public? Is it justified to hold a public position where as one's sympathys and interest lies some where else? No one should be above the law. Even if it takes judges to be removed, justice should be done. There should be no compromise on principles if we need to make our nation great.
Nasir D
September 21, 2012 4:13 pm
Whats dangerous about ensuring that those who represent the people are of them and do not hold another passport which allows them to escape the cosequences of their acctions or allows them to settle abroad with wealth they have gotten through corruption or mismanagemen? Most importantly, where do their loyalties lie and how do you address conflicts of interest when they are making decisions/policies which invovle their other nationality? The best thing this court has done to date.
September 21, 2012 6:44 pm
If you were a PPP member, you would have been thrown out of Central Executive Committee for speaking in favor of PPP and against court decisions. But I think your comment is deep and correct. Pakistan is passing through a phase of ebb for left wing ideology. So much so that no left wing party can say it out in open that they are left leaning. These days, it is a symbol of political correctness to be rightist. Clearly, the present judges are also victimizing PPP on account of it being leftist (at least in its core agenda if not in every day business) and on account of restoring the judges to the office only under pressure. I see it as more of personal vandetta with media hand in glove with the court. If the army had not decided to stay neutral, government of AAZ and Gilani would be sent packing a long time ago. Media is clearly helping opponents of PPP in their election campaign for long now. Knowing opponents of PPP, they started their election campaign as soon as the previous election was over (5 year campaign !).
September 21, 2012 5:09 pm
I believe CJ or the SC is very much right in this decision , those who are not accepting it like Asma should look into there hearts and decide why are they against this decision , should come up with some potential argument rather than blowing whistle . Asma has a record history of annoyance over SC decisions . We should never let any one sit in parliament or in any Govt office who has taken oath for other countries. If i agree with Asma then why we struggled for freedom from Brits, it should have been a colony of British empire , We all totally agree with SC and will exterminate any opposition to the decisions of SC.
September 21, 2012 7:23 pm
It is a most dangerous precedent being set by CJP, these sorts of judgements will bring the worst out in the later years. If CJP is so sincere then he must address issues like power projects etc, this will benefit the common man but not him and his colleagues and their family members. At times I wonder how CJP son became a billionaire at young age of 34! Oh! sorry this may be Contempt of Court now too!
September 22, 2012 5:55 am
If one makes a mistake and then realise it and start doing good, will we still call him a bad person?
September 21, 2012 3:07 pm
Jehangir does not know what she is talking about. The SC is doing the right thing.
awanh (@awanh)
September 21, 2012 3:08 pm
She is wrong. Even in the US, people holding such high level positions would be not be allowed to work with dual nationality.
September 21, 2012 5:14 pm
Any elected representative in any government position including the Prime Minister or President must be a pure Pakistani citizen who is born, raised & educated in Pakistan. NO COMPROMISE ON THAT AT ALL.
ejaz ali
September 21, 2012 6:27 pm
My Dear for your knowledge please read the constitution ! the departments which you have mentioned can't hold the dual nationality and this is being followed in true letter in spirit for quite some time now.
September 22, 2012 9:18 am
Fake degree holders must also be disqualified. Asma Jehangir and Aitzaz Ahsan have lost several cases in the Supreme Court. They want to settle their own scores. A case of lost pride.
September 22, 2012 9:15 am
Asma Jahangir does not explain why? The SC ruling is based on the Constitution being violated. What exactly does she want the SC to do? Keep quiet ? Her logic is incomprehensible.
September 21, 2012 8:04 pm
the fix is in Asma Jahangir wants to be the interIm Prime Minister. she will say WhAT EVER IT TAKES TO PLEASE ZARDARI
September 21, 2012 6:50 pm
Correctly said. Personal vandetta in full swing in my view. In present political background of Pakistan anything slightly leftist is worth-punishing. The present judges do not seem to have capacity or patience to keep themselves above and beyond day to day politics. More of an executive or administration minded judiciary than legal-minded it appears. Judges seem to be having a field day by punishing PPP for being somewhat left leaning and for restoring them late to the office. Media is already against PPP. Most of the media is clearly biased against PPP and present government.
September 21, 2012 6:51 pm
In Zia mentality, this is correct and acceptable. Not quite democratic. But what is a bigger problem is that most of verdicts of judiciary are against PPP.
September 21, 2012 6:54 pm
September 21, 2012 5:52 pm
Chaudry Iftikhar took oath of office to protect constitution but when it was violated by Gen Musharraf, Chaudry sb took oath as a PCO judge, then grant Gen Musharraf to amend contitution, now apply these clauses to chaudry sb, i think he is also dismiissed on the same ground
September 22, 2012 4:35 am
For last how many years they performed the job with the same status? Why was not it checked at the time of appointment. All those who failed to perform their duties should also be punished. Now let me tell you that dual nationality issue is more dangerous if the person is serving in Armed forces. He has sworn in to defend two countries at one time and both want him to defend their constitution, so if Canada want our generals to defend their constitutiion, how can he protect Pakistan. The question rises that why then dual citizeship is allowed by Pakistani Govt. How is this possible that Nawaz Sharief, Altaf Hussain, Imran Khan and many others do not have such kind of arrangnents to make such a Citizenship when required as they all will run away to protect themselves when they feel endangered. SC should aslo start scrutinizing their own king Judges as they also have this kind of amenity to loot and run away!
wali lasi
September 22, 2012 5:16 am
I support the views expressed by Ms.Asma ,and must say, she is the one, who speaks the truth and the rest of us are so called intellectuals..........wali lasi
M. Asghar
September 21, 2012 2:51 pm
As there is no other way but the judiciary to assure the constitutionaml accountability, particularl,y in the political domain, Asma Jahagir's remarks cannot be valid and moreover, they create very harmful confusion.
September 21, 2012 7:33 pm
I don`t think the country is being run by anybody at the moment.It is heading for anarchy.Attempts to ignore/ridicule the judiciary are leading to a state of total lawlessness.
September 22, 2012 9:34 am
very rightly summarized.. there could nt be a better remark than this
Amin Hussain
September 21, 2012 8:33 pm
Then how is this a pandoras box? people who have violated the law will be disqualified, how is it judicial activism if this is the straightforward implementation of an existing law?
September 22, 2012 4:11 am
How can u b sincere and loyal to two different countries at the same time? right judgement
September 22, 2012 4:10 am
September 21, 2012 4:37 pm
How can a person with another nationality (which means his affidavit of loyalty to that country) can represent only people of Pakistan. We should see the decision of SC keeping aside the politics
September 22, 2012 4:02 am
September 21, 2012 4:38 pm
i wonder whether Asma Jehangir will ever not comment on a decision about parliamentarians even if they have committed the worst crimes. Seems like she is on an agenda. The agenda to destabilize Pakistan , to defame the institutions like judiciary and the Army. Her words are cleverly sugar coated by of democracy, but she herself is promoting dictatorship by questioning the authority of supreme court, when she and us all know, that constitution does not permit dual nationality of the parliamentarians.
September 22, 2012 3:59 am
September 21, 2012 8:43 pm
This CJ is completely incompetent
September 21, 2012 4:38 pm
How so Mr. Abbas? Not implementing the laws of the land is more dangerous in the long run. As Pakistani we need to learn to swallow the bitter pill now; and cure the cancer that is plaguing us since our existence. "“Politicians have been known to change their statements around and their actions are different from the claims they make on television,” she said. Ms. Jehangir; What a naive and simplistic statement. So we should accept it as normal behavior. I say, let the Pandora's box open, let the accountability begin and eventually let the justice prevail.
September 22, 2012 3:43 am
Asma Jehangeer madaam, You are getting old should retire,
September 21, 2012 2:41 pm
Nowadays only the judiciary is righteous, honest and ameen.
September 21, 2012 2:42 pm
We who are living outside of Pakistan strongly protest to be called dishonest and unreliable.
September 21, 2012 8:44 pm
Don't worry everybody, all this activism is against the PPP government. The self-righteous right cannot win public vote thus they always play these tactics. Nothing new in Pakistani history. Once PPP government is off the scene, all this expeditious activity would be revert back. Pakistan a country made by left but ruled by right. That is the dilemma.
Haji Ashfaq
September 22, 2012 7:03 am
If you ask me honestly, the duel citizenship is doubtful for the service of the national interests - then the only Pakistani Nationality holders have done more damage to the society and nation.
Dr. Malek Towghi/Tauqee
September 22, 2012 4:58 am
Hypocrisy, Thy name is Asma Jahangir.
September 22, 2012 12:58 am
This Lady who is known as Asma Jehangir, once a respected name, for her recent outbursts against every single judgement of the SC has lost all her credibility, at least in my eyes. Perhaps she is looking for a ticket from PPP and hopes to be the next minister of Law? Good luck Asma
September 21, 2012 3:25 pm
AJ should say what punishment law maker get when they lie
Khalid H Khan
September 21, 2012 5:30 pm
Is she suggesting that keeping the lid on will help improve conditions?
September 22, 2012 2:58 am
I am sorry sir, this only applies to you if you run for a Government office. :)
Dr. A. K. Dogar
September 22, 2012 8:47 am
Giving a false affidavit is crime in every country. Ms. Asma should know that.
September 22, 2012 6:53 am
military and democratic rulers have ruled Pakistan before. Now it is the turn of judiciary. Why not ? What comes around goes around. How do we define a failed state ?
September 21, 2012 4:34 pm
so you are saying let our country run in this way by liars,corrupt and incompetant since there is nobody in this country fitting the criteria in article 62 and 63 or you are against any step leading to possibility of honest and uncorrupt to come to the rescue of this nation and inther words you want to live in the filth and happy that filthy politicians keep running this country to disaster i donot understand the logic of self infliction by the hands of politician.cannot you see the bleeding of this nation.CJ is the savior if we reject him then I promise this country will no more soon(God forbid)
September 21, 2012 10:04 pm
Ain't we lucky.
September 21, 2012 4:30 pm
present activism of the SC gives the impression that parliamentarians are subservient to the courts and country is being run by the judiciary.
Ahmed Saeed
September 21, 2012 5:29 pm
Constitution says dual nationality holders cannot be office holders. I don't know whats in your mind. Forget about Asma Jehangir.
brighton rodeo
September 21, 2012 5:29 pm
Let us pray for the judges to have mercy on the office bearers of this country.
September 22, 2012 1:41 am
She has been consistently opposing any decision made by CJ as if to prove herself a loyal candidate to become caretaker PM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.........But I guess she wouldn't be able get the slot because she isn't reliable.
Usman Ajmal (@dodgy_helmet)
September 21, 2012 10:00 pm
Completely agree. But then again, Asma Jehangir is never far behind when it comes to protecting the human rights of the elite, especially if they are PPP.
September 21, 2012 10:00 pm
The supreme court's actions are giving an impression of anarchy as it is hampering the functioning of the government and affecting governance.
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