PML-N senators Haroon Akhtar, Sadia Abbasi disqualified over dual nationalities

Published October 17, 2018
PML-N senators Haroon Akhtar, Sadia Abbasi. —File
PML-N senators Haroon Akhtar, Sadia Abbasi. —File

The Supreme Court on Wednesday disqualified PML-N senators Haroon Akhtar and Sadia Abbasi for holding dual nationalities at the time of filing their nomination papers for the upper house of the parliament.

Bilal Manto, who is assisting the SC in the case, said that whether or not a nationality could be completely renounced depends on that particular country's laws.

Citing Canada as an example, Manto said that the Canadian law does not allow its citizens to give up its nationality altogether once it has been procured.

Following Manto's argument, Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar gave the orders of disqualification under Article 63 (1)(c) of the 1973 Constitution. The article pertains to a person's disqualification from Parliament due to holding the nationality of a country other than Pakistan.

During the hearing, Justice Nisar said that while the time of a person renouncing a nationality can be counted from the day they write to their respective embassy to relieve them of the second nationality, the letter should already be written at the time a candidate submits their nomination papers for a public office.

"This was not the case for Abbasi," the chief justice observed.

The chief justice also told the counsels of Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar and PML-N's Nuzhat Sadiq to furnish their clients' verified affidavits showing that they had given up their second nationalities before filing their nomination papers.

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