'PM has the right to appoint anyone as his aide': Zulfi Bukhari submits reply in disqualification case

Published December 5, 2018
Zulfi Bukhari is currently facing a case in the Supreme Court over his dual nationality. — DawnNewsTV
Zulfi Bukhari is currently facing a case in the Supreme Court over his dual nationality. — DawnNewsTV

Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Wednesday, during the hearing of a petition seeking the disqualification of prime minister's aide Syed Zulfikar Ali Bukhari — aka Zulfi Bukhari — said that if appointments are made on the basis of nepotism, then the court will interfere.

The petition — filed by Muhammad Adil Chattha from Lahore and Mirza Abdul Moiz Baig from Karachi — has raised objections over Bukhari's appointment as the prime minister's special assistant on overseas Pakistanis and human resource development on account of his dual nationality.

"The court cannot change its decisions because someone is upset," remarked Chief Justice Nisar.

Earlier, Bukhari submitted his reply in the case, arguing that he held a British nationality because he was born there and got a Pakistani citizenship later. Bukhari gained his secondary education from a private school in Islamabad, where he studied from the age of 13 to 18. His family, the reply said, hails from Attock.

The prime minister, Bukhari said in his reply, had the right to appoint anyone as his aide.

The reply further said that Article 62 and 63 was only applicable to members of the Parliament and Bukhari was not a lawmaker.

Bukhari noted that the top court had granted overseas Pakistanis the right to vote. "To grant them [overseas Pakistanis] the right to vote but bar them from contributing to the country's development raises a question mark."

He also argued that if Pakistan can seek aid from international organisations like the International Monetary Fund, why can't it employ the services of Pakistanis holding dual nationality.

The hearing was adjourned until Dec 24 due to the absence of Chattha's lawyer who is currently abroad for medical treatment.

Bukhari is also facing an inquiry by the National Accountability Bureau for allegedly owning offshore companies in British Virgin Islands and assets beyond his known sources of income.

On Tuesday, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) reserved its verdict on Bukhari's petition seeking removal of his name from the Exit Control List (ECL).

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