KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain appealed to the Supreme Court on Thursday to review its decision barring dual nationality holders from becoming members of parliament.
Himself a dual nationality holder, Mr Hussain was addressing a meeting of the party’s elected representatives and office-bearers at the Lal Qila ground by phone from London.
The apex court recently ruled that under Article 63(1c) of the Constitution holders of dual citizenship stood disqualified from being elected as members of parliament.
Several lawmakers, including MNA Farhat Khan and MPA Nadia Gabol of the MQM, have been disqualified by the court for holding the dual nationality.
“I appeal to the Chief Justice of Pakistan and all judges [of the apex court] to review their decision in the greater interest of the country and the nation…I am not asking it for myself but my appeal is in the larger interest of the nation,” said Mr Hussain.
He said holders of dual nationality were patriotic Pakistanis and overseas Pakistani should be allowed to contest elections and a decision whether to accept or reject them should be left to people.
“We should look at it in a wider perspective and not consider it a matter of ego or a dispute between the judiciary and executive.”
“Isn’t it injustice that overseas Pakistanis are not allowed to vote or contest elections,” he asked The MQM leader said several counties allowed their citizens to hold dual nationality and contest elections.
“What is the crime of those Pakistanis who have been forced to leave their country due to state oppression to save their lives,” he said.
He assured the overseas Pakistanis that the MQM would continue to raise its voice for their rights.