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SC has opened Pandora’s Box with dual nationalities verdict: Asma Jahangir

Published Sep 21, 2012 02:33pm


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Asma Jahangir - File photo

KARACHI: Former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association Asma Jahangir has termed Supreme Court’s verdict in the dual nationalities case akin to opening a Pandora’s Box, BBC Urdu reported on Friday.

Reacting to the apex court’s decision of declaring a member of the parliament ineligible for holding his position on the pretext of not being righteous, honest and ‘ameen,’ Jahangir said the court’s response is unlike anything that has been seen by the SC in the past and that it had seemingly taken over the Election Commission of Pakistan’s powers regarding lawmakers’ eligibility for holding office.

“If the Zia-era articles used by the court to dismiss lawmakers were to be applied on its own judges, it would leave several court benches empty,” Jahangir said.

The court disqualified 11 members of parliament and provincial assemblies, but spared Interior Minister Rehman Malik, who was sentenced for submitting a false declaration was a court observation that he could not be considered righteous.

Answering a question on the judgment of a person’s righteousness, the former SCBA president said that no limits or judging criteria could be put in place for such an assessment.

“Politicians have been known to change their statements around and their actions are different from the claims they make on television,” she said.

Meanwhile, legal expert advocate Salman Akram Raja said that the SC decision could set a trend in dismissing lawmakers.


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Comments (85) Closed

Muhammad Choudhry Sep 22, 2012 10:47am
Asma Bibi is very supportive to Law Makers even with fake degrees Respected Asma do you think Fake degree holders are Amin and Honest? Say what is right, just trying to please PPP. USA
Syed Mumtazuddin Ahmed Sep 22, 2012 04:54am
No body is calling overseas Pakistanis dishonest. I will venture to add that overseas Pakistanis are more honest, natonalistic and loyal to Pakistan, regardless of their resident status in their adopted homeland. At the same time for the good of Pakistan, I think it is essential that people who want to be in assemblies, parliament, judiciary, administration etc., must not hold dual or foreign nationality, or even permanent resident status elsewhere, because of possible conflict of interest.
Ali Abbas Sep 21, 2012 03:58pm
I know many belonging to right wing idiology will rejoice at the dismissal of some parliamentarian especially belonging to PPP. I hope they relaize that recent SC verdicts are simply dangerous for the country, these verdicts will come back to haunt the rest of the country and soon. Even Zia was more careful than out present CJ.
Ajaya K Dutt Sep 21, 2012 09:12pm
You are right. She is wrong
Thaun Sep 21, 2012 08:27pm
I do not see any reason to criticise supreme court judjement ,constitution does not allow dual nationality for lawmakers.
Tanvir Sep 21, 2012 07:05pm
Few cases are given a high priority by Supreme Court to keep persons like Shaukat Aziz, Pervaiz Musharraf out of Pakistan while others are left in limbo. What happened to high profile cases like Punjab Bank Scandal Case, the Case of two brother killed by a mob in Sialkot, Case of inapproprian of govt. farmland to high ups to build palacial houses? Supreme Court has failed to provide easy access and fairplay to provide justice to a common man on the street. Prosecution quality is extremely low and police fail to bring credible evidence against a day light murderer and non of such prosecutors are given any punishment who waste tax payers money.
Ali Ansari Sep 21, 2012 04:39pm
I agree with you Ali. Seems like supreme court judges have formed a parallel government.
Sunny Sep 21, 2012 10:50pm
its shameful that a person like Asma Jehangir's stature utters words like this. Then to supplement her arguments she claimed if such a criteria is put on judges then there will be many vacant benches. she forgot that the judges are also part of her legal fraternity. Again she supports the "dual" faces of the local politicians terming it pure "politics". what a shame Ms Jehangir??
Mohammad Akram Sep 21, 2012 08:52pm
Do I have to understand that when a person accepts to be a national of another country he/she does not take the oath of allegiance, what world is Asma Jehangir living in. Does she mean to make us understand that she does not even know the basics of nationality? I commend Supreme Court and the Judges for taking a bold and honest decision.
MMS Sep 21, 2012 04:44pm
Let this criteria now be applied to the Judiciary, security and the Armed forces. This will entale no traitors in our midst. If anyone should complain then they are a traitor to Pakistan
saeed tahir Sep 21, 2012 10:11pm
ms jahngir is losing her mind or speaking PPP language,when some one lie to the whole nation to commit a fraud how can someone defend him making petty excuses. doesn't matter what happened in the past that is no excuse to let it go on for ever that any one can lie in their statements to election commission and get away with it saying ohh it happened in past as tomorrow a murderer can claim that he is very good person and contest election. i think we should start ignoring Ms asma jahgir as a person who lost the plot
salim Khan Sep 22, 2012 03:16am
CJP is doing everything for the betterment of Pakistan, Unless and Until these dishonest person are bowled out, Pakistan will remain in this mess.
shaz Sep 22, 2012 02:31am
In my opinion, if you do not agree with any article in the constitution, one should campaign to get such provision amended or dropped. When a person like Asma Jahangir criticizes the court for following an available constitutional path, it is simply mindbogglingly to read such criticism. A person having legal expertise to oppose what is constitutional shows that why we are in the current mess as the elite of this country insists to have double standards. If something is wrong in the constitution, just plead and seek support to get rid of it instead of giving illogical statements that just sound opposition for the sake of opposition only.
MJKhan Sep 21, 2012 10:24pm
Law is crystal clear. You can't have dual nationality if you want to become law maker.You can't sail in two boats at the same time.
MJKhan Sep 21, 2012 10:19pm
Do you know who is running the country ? President who by the constitution is a figure head of the government. Executive power lies with the prime minister. Do you see prime minister in the fore front ? It is Zardari show all the way, he is even chairman of PPP and conducts party business from the presidency as well,Good or bad, CJ & SC are the only alternative we have.
desiboy Sep 21, 2012 06:13pm
If forign immegration holders list is checked as it is likely that most of the parliment and the Judiciary will have UK or USA or Canadian permanent residency status but have not taken the nationality for some reason. This will include PPP, PML-N, PTI and other party big names. Let someone raise this question. Desiboy Canada
Asim Sep 21, 2012 03:29pm
How can one wrong can make the other wrong right?. If righteous people are not there on benches then let's fight and get rid of them. How can you justify that you have the right to be wrong because someone else is wrong. I had a big regard for this lady but I guess now she has lost her intellect and passion for righteousness.
Moiz Sep 21, 2012 03:07pm
Can Asma bibi define her standards for righteousness and honesty ?. It is indeed a very depressing statement. Instead of giving this statement, she should welcome it and come out against those judges and lawyers who does not qualify these standards. But she will not, as she is a PPP person and these traits have no meaning for her.
Ashfaq Sep 21, 2012 03:41pm
Ms. Jahangir should stay quiet. She is not the one sitting on the Supreme Court nor is she a judge. She is just a lawyer. If she is confident that she competent, then she should file a case in the Supreme Court to test to see who knows more about the constitution / law.
Farrakh Hussain Sep 21, 2012 08:22pm
No you are not missing anything.
Khalid Khan Sep 21, 2012 05:08pm
Khalid Khan I find the sc verdict right though my self I am dual national. If some dose the right thing our society dont let them do it. The verdict makes billion time sence & Mohtarma Asma sahiba should also respect the court of law. I am watching it that is getting out of hand for no reason. I hope she will realize soon.
Ahmad Sep 21, 2012 06:17pm
MP;s should stand firm and oppose this verdict, simply deny to leave parliaments and behave as nothing doing. Let SC give verdicts that they cannot impllement. This is very important otherwise Pakistans democratic system will remain at the mercy of SC. Anybody can understand SC is just targeting PPP led government.
Amin Hussain Sep 21, 2012 04:19pm
According to the article, so far the only disqualification that has taken place has been according to laws against dual nationality.... those seem pretty straightforward and not really open to much varied interpretation. Am i missing something?
G.Nabi Sep 21, 2012 10:07pm
Why more troubles ? If constitution forbids dual nationality holders from becoming members of the parliament, then they should be debarred. CJ is not making new law, he is enforcing it. Ms. Jehangir has some vested interest.
EmMoosa Sep 21, 2012 09:39pm
First of all the CJP should do justice in the case of his son. If this would be the similar case in the west their chief Justice should have resigned from his post.
NINO Sep 21, 2012 09:47pm
Ms Jehangir has time and again proven that she is a PPPJiyala. By some of her statements, I am beginning to suspect that objectivity is not one of her qualities. She criticises the judgements of judges and appears to be judgemental about them. I had always been including her amongst the persons who could be relied upon to speak the truth but alas where else go searching for persons who are courageous and brave, upholding the truth.. The judiciary may have their own black sheep but I fail to see the connection between that and the judgement on dual nationality. My wife swore to uphold the constituion of the country we have migrated to and I intend to follow suit. Having studied what I am in for , I am convinced that I must not be allowed to hold any public office in Pakistan
observer Sep 22, 2012 04:16pm
On a personal basis, this is not a bad act, indeed a very good one. But in legal system or morals system things are seen differently.
Honest Belief Sep 21, 2012 08:11pm
Definitely, that is why the Chief Justice's Son is under scrutiny and is being protected by his father as is ex-Prime Minister Gilani's son. Hoorah
Mazher A. Khan Sep 22, 2012 02:00am
A very GOOD Precedent for all that nobody is above the law.
ak Sep 21, 2012 10:04pm
My dear there are a few judges in the court who hold dual nationalities what zbout them
Zulfiqar Sep 21, 2012 03:38pm
If the ECP is not doing their job correctly than the court has to do their job. It would be better if Asma Jehangir stop defending the law breakers and start praising the righteous. Her recent comments are very shady. Makes no sense to me why in the world a lawyer would try to down play the role of a court or the decision of a judge. If she has a problem than she can file an appeal and fight the case pro bono for candidates that she is trying to defend. If a candidate is falsifying his or her application than the courts and ECP have the power to disqualify the candidate. Wake up Asma and wake up Pakistanion. Pakistan Zindabad
waseem Sep 21, 2012 03:08pm
I would not like her statement. At least for the dignity and sanctity of the apex court. It is wise enough to dislodge the so called elites having multiple loyalties. People criticize feudal lords why not those who show double standards. I am with the decision of the supreme court.
Ajaya K Dutt Sep 21, 2012 09:10pm
The suggestion is not to put the lid on. The statement, open the Pandora's Box, implies that a step has been taken that shall result in many more troubles.
Ashfaq Sep 21, 2012 04:13pm
It's not a matter of right or left, PPP, PML, etc. It's all about what is right and what is wrong. Pakistan has not known the true definition of the meaning "LAW" for almost 50 years. You had one set of laws for the rich and influential and one set for the poor. Whether you like the CJ and the rest of the supreme court or, the rulings they are passing are a bitter medicine for the country that has not known true Justice. Yes, the rulings will be painful (for some) but let's give the "Law" a chance to take it's course. The country has been run by dictators and corrupt politicians for too long. It's time for people to stand up and demand Justice for all!
H L Sep 21, 2012 04:26pm
so we are ok with status quo? Is it justified to lie to public? Is it justified to hold a public position where as one's sympathys and interest lies some where else? No one should be above the law. Even if it takes judges to be removed, justice should be done. There should be no compromise on principles if we need to make our nation great.
Nasir D Sep 21, 2012 04:13pm
Whats dangerous about ensuring that those who represent the people are of them and do not hold another passport which allows them to escape the cosequences of their acctions or allows them to settle abroad with wealth they have gotten through corruption or mismanagemen? Most importantly, where do their loyalties lie and how do you address conflicts of interest when they are making decisions/policies which invovle their other nationality? The best thing this court has done to date.
observer Sep 21, 2012 06:44pm
If you were a PPP member, you would have been thrown out of Central Executive Committee for speaking in favor of PPP and against court decisions. But I think your comment is deep and correct. Pakistan is passing through a phase of ebb for left wing ideology. So much so that no left wing party can say it out in open that they are left leaning. These days, it is a symbol of political correctness to be rightist. Clearly, the present judges are also victimizing PPP on account of it being leftist (at least in its core agenda if not in every day business) and on account of restoring the judges to the office only under pressure. I see it as more of personal vandetta with media hand in glove with the court. If the army had not decided to stay neutral, government of AAZ and Gilani would be sent packing a long time ago. Media is clearly helping opponents of PPP in their election campaign for long now. Knowing opponents of PPP, they started their election campaign as soon as the previous election was over (5 year campaign !).
Mashud Sep 21, 2012 05:09pm
I believe CJ or the SC is very much right in this decision , those who are not accepting it like Asma should look into there hearts and decide why are they against this decision , should come up with some potential argument rather than blowing whistle . Asma has a record history of annoyance over SC decisions . We should never let any one sit in parliament or in any Govt office who has taken oath for other countries. If i agree with Asma then why we struggled for freedom from Brits, it should have been a colony of British empire , We all totally agree with SC and will exterminate any opposition to the decisions of SC.
Murtaza Sep 21, 2012 07:23pm
It is a most dangerous precedent being set by CJP, these sorts of judgements will bring the worst out in the later years. If CJP is so sincere then he must address issues like power projects etc, this will benefit the common man but not him and his colleagues and their family members. At times I wonder how CJP son became a billionaire at young age of 34! Oh! sorry this may be Contempt of Court now too!
Rebel Sep 22, 2012 05:55am
If one makes a mistake and then realise it and start doing good, will we still call him a bad person?
ali Sep 21, 2012 03:07pm
Jehangir does not know what she is talking about. The SC is doing the right thing.
awanh (@awanh) Sep 21, 2012 03:08pm
She is wrong. Even in the US, people holding such high level positions would be not be allowed to work with dual nationality.
Tojo Sep 21, 2012 05:14pm
Any elected representative in any government position including the Prime Minister or President must be a pure Pakistani citizen who is born, raised & educated in Pakistan. NO COMPROMISE ON THAT AT ALL.
ejaz ali Sep 21, 2012 06:27pm
My Dear for your knowledge please read the constitution ! the departments which you have mentioned can't hold the dual nationality and this is being followed in true letter in spirit for quite some time now.
Ghayyas Sep 22, 2012 09:18am
Fake degree holders must also be disqualified. Asma Jehangir and Aitzaz Ahsan have lost several cases in the Supreme Court. They want to settle their own scores. A case of lost pride.
aziz Sep 22, 2012 09:15am
Asma Jahangir does not explain why? The SC ruling is based on the Constitution being violated. What exactly does she want the SC to do? Keep quiet ? Her logic is incomprehensible.
Muslim Sep 21, 2012 08:04pm
the fix is in Asma Jahangir wants to be the interIm Prime Minister. she will say WhAT EVER IT TAKES TO PLEASE ZARDARI
observer Sep 21, 2012 06:50pm
Correctly said. Personal vandetta in full swing in my view. In present political background of Pakistan anything slightly leftist is worth-punishing. The present judges do not seem to have capacity or patience to keep themselves above and beyond day to day politics. More of an executive or administration minded judiciary than legal-minded it appears. Judges seem to be having a field day by punishing PPP for being somewhat left leaning and for restoring them late to the office. Media is already against PPP. Most of the media is clearly biased against PPP and present government.
observer Sep 21, 2012 06:51pm
In Zia mentality, this is correct and acceptable. Not quite democratic. But what is a bigger problem is that most of verdicts of judiciary are against PPP.
MUHAMMAD Sep 21, 2012 06:54pm
Abid Sep 21, 2012 05:52pm
Chaudry Iftikhar took oath of office to protect constitution but when it was violated by Gen Musharraf, Chaudry sb took oath as a PCO judge, then grant Gen Musharraf to amend contitution, now apply these clauses to chaudry sb, i think he is also dismiissed on the same ground
Shaukat Sep 22, 2012 04:35am
For last how many years they performed the job with the same status? Why was not it checked at the time of appointment. All those who failed to perform their duties should also be punished. Now let me tell you that dual nationality issue is more dangerous if the person is serving in Armed forces. He has sworn in to defend two countries at one time and both want him to defend their constitution, so if Canada want our generals to defend their constitutiion, how can he protect Pakistan. The question rises that why then dual citizeship is allowed by Pakistani Govt. How is this possible that Nawaz Sharief, Altaf Hussain, Imran Khan and many others do not have such kind of arrangnents to make such a Citizenship when required as they all will run away to protect themselves when they feel endangered. SC should aslo start scrutinizing their own king Judges as they also have this kind of amenity to loot and run away!
wali lasi Sep 22, 2012 05:16am
I support the views expressed by Ms.Asma ,and must say, she is the one, who speaks the truth and the rest of us are so called intellectuals..........wali lasi
M. Asghar Sep 21, 2012 02:51pm
As there is no other way but the judiciary to assure the constitutionaml accountability, particularl,y in the political domain, Asma Jahagir's remarks cannot be valid and moreover, they create very harmful confusion.
Adil Sep 21, 2012 07:33pm
I don`t think the country is being run by anybody at the moment.It is heading for anarchy.Attempts to ignore/ridicule the judiciary are leading to a state of total lawlessness.
Abdullah Sep 22, 2012 09:34am
very rightly summarized.. there could nt be a better remark than this
Amin Hussain Sep 21, 2012 08:33pm
Then how is this a pandoras box? people who have violated the law will be disqualified, how is it judicial activism if this is the straightforward implementation of an existing law?
Iqbal Sep 22, 2012 04:11am
How can u b sincere and loyal to two different countries at the same time? right judgement
KHAN Sep 22, 2012 04:10am
Saeed Sep 21, 2012 04:37pm
How can a person with another nationality (which means his affidavit of loyalty to that country) can represent only people of Pakistan. We should see the decision of SC keeping aside the politics
KHAN Sep 22, 2012 04:02am
Abdullah Sep 21, 2012 04:38pm
i wonder whether Asma Jehangir will ever not comment on a decision about parliamentarians even if they have committed the worst crimes. Seems like she is on an agenda. The agenda to destabilize Pakistan , to defame the institutions like judiciary and the Army. Her words are cleverly sugar coated by of democracy, but she herself is promoting dictatorship by questioning the authority of supreme court, when she and us all know, that constitution does not permit dual nationality of the parliamentarians.
KHAN Sep 22, 2012 03:59am
khan Sep 21, 2012 08:43pm
This CJ is completely incompetent
TKhan Sep 21, 2012 04:38pm
How so Mr. Abbas? Not implementing the laws of the land is more dangerous in the long run. As Pakistani we need to learn to swallow the bitter pill now; and cure the cancer that is plaguing us since our existence. "
Bill Sep 22, 2012 03:43am
Asma Jehangeer madaam, You are getting old should retire,
EmMoosa Sep 21, 2012 02:41pm
Nowadays only the judiciary is righteous, honest and ameen.
EmMoosa Sep 21, 2012 02:42pm
We who are living outside of Pakistan strongly protest to be called dishonest and unreliable.
Bewaqoof Sep 21, 2012 08:44pm
Don't worry everybody, all this activism is against the PPP government. The self-righteous right cannot win public vote thus they always play these tactics. Nothing new in Pakistani history. Once PPP government is off the scene, all this expeditious activity would be revert back. Pakistan a country made by left but ruled by right. That is the dilemma.
Haji Ashfaq Sep 22, 2012 07:03am
If you ask me honestly, the duel citizenship is doubtful for the service of the national interests - then the only Pakistani Nationality holders have done more damage to the society and nation.
Dr. Malek Towghi/Tauqee Sep 22, 2012 04:58am
Hypocrisy, Thy name is Asma Jahangir.
Feroze Sep 22, 2012 12:58am
This Lady who is known as Asma Jehangir, once a respected name, for her recent outbursts against every single judgement of the SC has lost all her credibility, at least in my eyes. Perhaps she is looking for a ticket from PPP and hopes to be the next minister of Law? Good luck Asma
sharif Sep 21, 2012 03:25pm
AJ should say what punishment law maker get when they lie
Khalid H Khan Sep 21, 2012 05:30pm
Is she suggesting that keeping the lid on will help improve conditions?
F S Sep 22, 2012 02:58am
I am sorry sir, this only applies to you if you run for a Government office. :)
Dr. A. K. Dogar Sep 22, 2012 08:47am
Giving a false affidavit is crime in every country. Ms. Asma should know that.
Robert Sep 22, 2012 06:53am
military and democratic rulers have ruled Pakistan before. Now it is the turn of judiciary. Why not ? What comes around goes around. How do we define a failed state ?
beg Sep 21, 2012 04:34pm
so you are saying let our country run in this way by liars,corrupt and incompetant since there is nobody in this country fitting the criteria in article 62 and 63 or you are against any step leading to possibility of honest and uncorrupt to come to the rescue of this nation and inther words you want to live in the filth and happy that filthy politicians keep running this country to disaster i donot understand the logic of self infliction by the hands of politician.cannot you see the bleeding of this nation.CJ is the savior if we reject him then I promise this country will no more soon(God forbid)
kaiser Sep 21, 2012 10:04pm
Ain't we lucky.
baakhlaq Sep 21, 2012 04:30pm
present activism of the SC gives the impression that parliamentarians are subservient to the courts and country is being run by the judiciary.
Ahmed Saeed Sep 21, 2012 05:29pm
Constitution says dual nationality holders cannot be office holders. I don't know whats in your mind. Forget about Asma Jehangir.
brighton rodeo Sep 21, 2012 05:29pm
Let us pray for the judges to have mercy on the office bearers of this country.
Aryan Sep 22, 2012 01:41am
She has been consistently opposing any decision made by CJ as if to prove herself a loyal candidate to become caretaker PM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.........But I guess she wouldn't be able get the slot because she isn't reliable.
Usman Ajmal (@dodgy_helmet) Sep 21, 2012 10:00pm
Completely agree. But then again, Asma Jehangir is never far behind when it comes to protecting the human rights of the elite, especially if they are PPP.
kaiser Sep 21, 2012 10:00pm
The supreme court's actions are giving an impression of anarchy as it is hampering the functioning of the government and affecting governance.