ECP reserves verdict in Faisal Vawda’s disqualification case
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The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday reserved its verdict on one of the petitions, seeking disqualification of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Senator Faisal Vawda, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
During the hearing, Qadir Mandokhel, the petitioner, said that this was the 23rd hearing of the case. “The election commission has been seeking answers from the senator for the past one and a half years, which he has not submitted as yet,” he regretted.
The chief election commissioner (CEC) asked the petitioner to complete his arguments, adding that the ECP was in no mood to give further time to Vawda to submit his reply in the case.
Mandokhel argued that the returning officer’s (RO) judgement in 2018 on the PTI senator’s dual citizenship was flawed. “Instead of rejecting Vawda’s nomination papers, the RO rejected my papers,” he said.
When Member Balochistan Shah Muhammad Jatoi asked him as to why he had not challenged the RO’s decision in the tribunal before approaching the ECP for the purpose. “Please satisfy us as to why you did not move the tribunal against the RO’s decision first,” he said, and reminded the petitioner that on the last hearing of the case he had told the commission that he had been done with his arguments; but now he had resumed argumentation.
On the other hand, PTI senator’s counsel Barrister Moeed submitted to the election commission Vawda’s birth certificate.
PTI senator’s counsel Barrister Moeed started giving his concluding remarks in the case. When the counsel told the ECP that he had shown to the RO the documents of cancellation of his client’s passport, the CEC asked him whether cancellation of the passport amounted to giving up the foreign country’s nationality.
The barrister went on to add that the Pakistanis holding dual nationality were not given computerized national identity cards (CNICs), while the National Database Registration Authority (NADRA) had issued to Vawda the CNIC on May 29, 2018, the proof of which had also been provided to the authorities.
The CEC responded that it would have to be looked into whether the NADRA had the authority to issue CNICs. PTI senator’s lawyer told the election commission that the NADRA issued the CNIC only after the approval of Intelligence Bureau (IB).
Barrister Moeed argued that when his client was no more a member of the National Assembly (MNA), how he could be disqualified now. He accused Mandokhel of moving the ECP just for the sake of ‘media trial’ of the case.
Speaking on the occasion, Faisal Vawda said he was in the dark about the rules as a candidate for the seat of MNA. “I am being dragged into the case without any reason. Here I want to emphasize that the petitioner went straight to the election commission rather than knocking at the doors of a tribunal first,” he contended.
Later, talking to the media the PTI senator said he had provided to the ECP all the proofs and not once did he lie during the hearing. Reporter: Usman Khan
Reporter Usman Khan