|Dual nationality ban must to stop imported premiers, says SC|
22 June 2012
ISLAMABAD - TERENCE J SIGAMONY/Agencies - Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has stated that if law-makers are not barred from dual nationality, influx of imported Premiers will go on. Chief Justice said that “law allows general public to hold dual nationalities but it prevents Parliamentarians from holding dual nationalities and they can’t amend the Constitution for interests of 10 to 15 people.”
A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry which comprised Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain was hearing a petition seeking disqualification of law-makers holding dual nationality.
The Supreme Court on Thursday made it clear that this case is not against any particular Parliamentarian but for the interpretation of the Constitution. The court observed that the judgment would not hit 4 to 6 million Pakistanis holding dual citizenship, as the law permits them.
But Article 63(1)(c) disqualifies public representatives holding dual nationality, it said.
The Chief Justice said serious matters like nuke, defence, budget and security policies are discussed in the Parliament. He said that dual nationality is accepted internationally, but the 1973 Constitution debars the public representatives to hold the dual nationality.
The CJP asked Waseem Sajjad, counsel for Farahnaz Isphani, that for the sake of 10 or 15 Parliamentarians they would not change the law, and if it would not ban this practice then there would be Prime Minister of dual citizenship. The learned counsel argued that Constitution should be a living document and requested the bench to interpret the Constitution in a way so that Parliamentarians hold dual-nationality may not be hit.
Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, member of the bench, said: “The impression that the court is against the dual nationals is wrong.”
Anwar Mansoor, counsel for Rehman Malik, ex-Federal Minister for Interior, requested the court to give some time to submit the required document, as Rehman Malik’s solicitor in UK is on leave.
Earlier, Waheed Anjum, who had filed the list of 14 Parliamentarians, hold dual nationalities, submitted some documents to proof that MNA Farhat Mehmood Khan, MNA Tariq Mehmood Alona, MNA Zahid Iqbal, MPA Nadia Gabol and MPA Chaudhry Nadeem Khan are dual nationals.
During the hearing, except for Zahid Iqbal, others MPs neither appeared in person nor represented by counsels ,therefore, the court repeated the notices. The Chief Justice said if despite the service of notices they are not appearing then they would direct the Election Commission of Pakistan to issue notification of their disqualification.
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