- Top judge says ‘it’s high time overseas Pakistanis are made part of elections’
- Sarwar, Nuzhat says they renounced their nationalities years ago
ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) reportedly halted victory notifications of four senators-elect for being “dual nationals” in compliance with the Supreme Court’s directive.
Hearing a case related to dual citizenship of judges and civil servants on Monday, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Saqib Nisar noted that senators holding dual nationalities were elected in the recent Senate elections and asked the attorney general to submit a report in this regard.
The CJP asked the attorney general to reveal names of the senators and whether they renounced their nationalities before contesting the elections.
Upon which, the AG told the court that at least four senators-elect that include Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s sister Sadia Abbasi, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) Haroon Akhtar, Nuzhat Sadiq, and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Chaudhry Sarwar hold dual nationality.
The ECP secretary, representing the watchdog, also informed the court that the senators holding dual nationality had submitted affidavits claiming that they have given up their nationality of the other country, but had not submitted any legal documents in this regard.
Consequently, the court issued notices to the four senators to clarify their positions and ordered the ECP to withhold their notifications.
‘SENATORS-ELECT NOT DUAL NATIONALS’:
After the media reports regarding their nationalities, the senators-elect in question took to social media and media to clarify their stance.
PTI’s Sarwar took to Twitter and said: “Absolute baseless allegations circulating on the media that I am a dual national. I gave up my British nationality when I became the Governor of Punjab in 2013. I am now a Pakistani passport holder only.”
Absolute baseless allegations circulating on the media that I am a dual national. I gave up my British nationality when I became the Governor of Punjab in 2013. I am now only a Pakistani passport holder. pic.twitter.com/dNjDjJwNlL
— Mohammad Sarwar (@ChMSarwar) March 5, 2018
PTI’s media cell also vouched for Sarwar in a statement along with a document from the UK Border Agency and declared that Sarwar had revoked his UK citizenship in 2013.
“It is the legal and ethical responsibility of the attorney general to check his facts before recording statements in the Supreme Court,” PTI spokesperson said.
“The party is seriously reviewing the hidden political motives in the attorney general’s statement.”
PML-N leader Khawaja Saad Rafique, while reacting to the media reports regarding Nuzhat Sadiq being a dual national, said that the aforementioned senator-elect gave up her America citizenship in 2012.
سینیٹر نزھت صادق امریکی شھریت 2012 میں ھی ترک کر چکی ھیں ، انکی دھری شھریت کی اطلاع یکسر غلط ھے – pic.twitter.com/FQOar4R8OS
— Khawaja Saad Rafique (@KhSaad_Rafique) March 5, 2018
Commenting on the so-called dual citizenship of Saadia Abbasi, Saad Rafique claimed that she had given up her nationality before submission of her nomination papers. He also vouched for Haroon Akhtar, saying that the senator-elect had renounced his Canadian nationality in 2011.
115 CIVIL SERVANTS DUAL CITIZENS: Regarding the dual nationalities of civil servants, a report was submitted to the apex court revealed that as many as 115 civil servants in the country hold dual citizenships. According to details, there are 64 civil servants in Punjab, five in Sindh, nine in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), 28 in Azad Kashmir, eight in Balochistan, and one in Gilgit Baltistan (GB) with dual nationalities.
The CJP warned that those civil servants who hid their dual citizenship status will be removed from office, adding that it is important to keep a data of the government officials with dual nationalities.
He summoned Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary Fawad Hassan Fawad to inform the court about the number of dual citizens in the premier’s secretariat. Supreme Court judges are also not allowed to hold dual nationalities, he remarked. The hearing was adjourned till March 8.