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

Published Sep 21, 2012 02:33pm

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.