KARACHI: An appeal challenging the acceptance of nomination papers of Federal Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf for a Senate seat from Sindh for the upcoming election was filed before an election tribunal on Saturday.
Advocate Qadir Khan Mandokhel filed the election appeal stating that Mr Vawda’s nomination form should not have been entertained since he was still a sitting MNA and a federal minister while an earlier complaint against Mr Vawda was still pending before the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) as well as a petition before the Islamabad High Court for not disclosing his US nationality in the nomination papers filed during the general elections in 2018.
Advocate Mandokhel, who had contested the 2018 election on a PPP ticket from NA-249 Karachi against Mr Vawda, filed the appeal against the Feb 18 order of the ECP to accept nomination papers of the federal minister for the March 3 Senate election.
The election tribunal headed by Justice Agha Faisal of the Sindh High Court is likely to take up the appeal for hearing on Monday (tomorrow).
Citing the provincial election commission, the retuning officer of the ECP and Mr Vawda as respondents, the appellant argued that a sitting MNA or federal minister cannot apply or file nomination form for the Senate election unless he filed an application to give up his National Assembly seat and ministerial responsibilities.
He further contended that the matters pending before the ECP and IHC against the minister for not being “Sadiq and Ameen” as mentioned in Article 62 of the Constitution since he concealed his dual nationality in his nomination papers filed in 2018.
He maintained that the ECP had recently imposed a fine of Rs50,000 on the federal minister for repeatedly asking for adjournments and directed him to appear in person and clarify his US nationality status on the next hearing.
The appellant further argued that Mr Vawda in his nomination papers filed for the Senate election mentioned that he was a citizen of the United States and had given up his nationality in 2018. However, he said, he failed to reveal the date of application to surrender the nationality while in his nomination papers in 2018, he said the relevant section was not applicable to him.
He contended that there were also clear discrepancies in the details of the loan and money, which he mentioned in the nomination papers of the general elections in 2018 and in the nomination papers for the Senate polls.
The appellant maintained that the impugned order had been passed by the retuning officer of the ECP in a hasty manner without considering the objections of the appellant and it was silent on the objections raised before him.
He argued that the minister did not qualify the criteria of Article 62 of the Constitution and pleaded to reject his nomination form and disqualify him from contesting the Senate election 2021.
Published in Dawn, February 21st, 2021