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KARACHI: A sessions court on Saturday issued warrants for the arrest of former MNA Farahnaz Ispahani and PPP leader Nadia Gabol over their extended absence in cases pertaining to possessing dual nationality.

On a directive of the apex court, the Election Commission of Pakistan had filed complaints against Ms Ispahani, an ex-PPP lawmaker, and Ms Gabol, then an MPA of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, and other legislators in 2012 for filing false declarations along with their nomination papers for contesting elections to conceal their dual nationality.

The cases were fixed before District and Sessions Judge (South) Imdad Hussain Khoso on Saturday. However, both the women were again found absent.

A lawyer for the ECP submitted that they had not been appearing in court since long and the trial against Ms Ispahani had not even commenced yet.

The judge issued non-bailable warrants against both women and directed the police to arrest and produce them in court on Sept 1.

The court has recently dismissed the acquittal applications of both suspects.

The regional election commissioner had filed complaints under the different sections of the Representation of People Act, 1976, Senate Election Act, 1975 and the Pakistan Penal Code.

In its verdict the apex court had disqualified 11 members of parliament and provincial assemblies and ordered the chief election commissioner to initiate legal proceedings against the disqualified members for filing false declarations and concealing their dual nationality.

Published in Dawn, August 13th, 2017