'PTI commando' in trouble over dual nationality

After IHC, SHC also admits plea seeking Vawda's disqualification

By: News Desk      Published: 02:12 PM, 13 Feb, 2020
'PTI commando' in trouble over dual nationality

Things are not looking good for Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda as the Sindh High Court (SHC) has also admitted a plea seeking his disqualification over claims that he concealed his dual nationality at the time of 2018 general elections.

Hearing a plea on the issue, the SHC Thursday issued notices to the minister, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and other relevant parties while telling them to file their formal replies by March 12.

Last month, the Islamabad High Court had admitted a similar plea and issued notices to Vawda and others while fixing the hearing for Feb 24.

Like the IHC petition, the petition filed in SHC by Advocate Qadir Khan Mandokhel accuses Vawda of concealing his dual nationality while filing his nomination for the last general elections.

Mandokhel maintained in his petition that the minister intentionally did not declare his US citizenship while filing nomination papers for the election. He claimed that Vawda quietly applied to surrender his US nationality when the matter was taken to court.

As the evidence suggests that the minister was holding dual citizenship at the election time so he should be disqualified under Article 62-1(F) of the Constitution, requested the plaintiff.

The two-member SHC bench that heard the plea observed that it will decide the matter after hearing all the parties involved.

IHC case

The issue of Vawda’s hiding his dual nationality arose last month when an investigative report published in a newspaper made the revelation.

Hearing a petition filed over the issue, the IHC on Jan 29 issued notices to the federal minister, the ECP and other relevant parties.

During the hearing when Justice Aamir Farooq asked the plaintiff, Mian Mohammad Faisal, about the last date for submission of nomination forms for the 2018 election.

His lawyer Barrister Jahangir Jadoon replied that it was June 11, 2018. The lawyer also presented the oath-taking submitted by the minister to election commission when he filed his nomination papers.

The judge asked if the oath-taking was authentic and based on truth. The counsel replied that it was fake as the minister was holding dual nationality at the time of filing his nomination.

According to a past judgment of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the candidates holding dual nationality are required to submit a renunciation certificate of their foreign nationality while filing the nomination papers.

The petitioner pleaded the court to disqualify the PTI lawmaker and stop him from working as a minister.

The court issued notices to all the parties concerned and fixed the next hearing for February 24.