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Dual national MPA disqualified

LAHORE, Nov 16: The Lahore High Court on Friday disqualified Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz MPA Rana Asif Mahmood for having dual nationality.

Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial also directed the Election Commission to issue a notification.

Mr Mahmood was elected member of the Punjab Assembly on a reserved seat for minorities. His assembly’s membership was already suspended by the court.

Faisal Ilyas Sadiq had filed a petition through Advocate Saiful Malook for the disqualification of the MPA. It was pleaded that Mahmood was a Canadian national and the Constitution of Pakistan did not allow any citizen of other country to be elected as member of assemblies.

The petitioner also presented a documentary evidence to prove the dual nationality of the MPA. He said it was clear that Mahmood possessed an overseas identity card, which was issued only to those Pakistani citizens who had a passport of some other country.

The petitioner’s counsel mainly relied on the judgment of the Supreme Court on the point of dual nationality enjoyed by many parliamentarians. He said the apex court had already disqualified many parliamentarians for being dual nationals.

Therefore, the respondent (Mahmood) should also be disqualified being a Canadian nationality holder, he said.

The MPA, through his counsel, opposed the petition and said he was not a citizen of Canada but enjoyed a status of national. He said the constitutional bar on parliamentarians of dual nationality did not apply on him. He, however, failed to defend his case.

The court disqualified the MPA while invoking the provisions of articles 62 and 63.