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Former MNA arrested over false declaration of dual nationality

April 25, 2013
Former MNA Chaudhry Zahid Iqbal. - Photo from the National Assembly of Pakistan website
Former MNA Chaudhry Zahid Iqbal. - Photo from the National Assembly of Pakistan website

SAHIWAL: Former member of national assembly (MNA), Chaudhry Zahid Iqbal was arrested on Wednesday for wrongly stating his dual nationality status while filing his nomination paper from NA-162 Sahiwal-III.

Iqbal was charged under the Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution and was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment, along with a fine of Rs 5,000.

The arrest order was given by Mushtaq Tarar, District and Session Judge, while disposing of Iqbal’s dual nationality case filed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Dawn learnt.

Jawad Afzal, SHO, Civil Line, immediately arrested the former MNA and shifted him to Central Jail, Sahiwal.

Iqbal is an Arain by caste and a resident of tehsil Chichawatni. He won 2008 election on PPP ticket from NA-162 by bagging 70,634 votes.

He was previously disqualified by the Supreme Court in October 2012 for allegedly holding a British nationality under the dual nationality case. The election commission ordered by-election in Chichawatni on Dec4.

Iqbal resubmitted his nomination papers in Sahiwal after being awarded a ticket from the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

However, on the day when the election symbols were to be allocated, he left PPP and joined the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N). Within a night, the PPP flag and Benazir Bhutto’s portrait from his residence was replaced with a PML-N flag and pictures of the Sharif brothers.

Iqbal again won the by-election on a PML-N ticket by winning 76,268 votes. He filed his nomination papers for the upcoming election as a PML-N candidate.

His nomination papers were rejected and he appealed to an election tribunal at the Lahore High Court. The court allowed him to contest the upcoming election on a conditional basis.

Meanwhile, PML-N awarded a ticket to Chaudhry Muhammad Tufail Jutt from NA-162, Sahiwal-III.

On other hand, the ECP filed a petition regarding Iqbal’s dual nationality, for which he was arrested today. He was charged with the violation of the Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution.