ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission (ECP) has issued a schedule for election on two vacant Senate seats from Punjab.
According to the schedule, nomination papers for the election can be filed from 29th to 31st of this month. Polling will be held on 15th of next month in Punjab Assembly.
The seats fell vacant due to disqualification of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senators Haroon Akhtar Khan and Sadia Abbasi.
Earlier on October 25, the election commission had de-notified PML-N senators Haroon Akhtar and Sadia Abbasi in the light of Supreme Court’s verdict in dual nationality case.
On October 17, the Supreme Court (SC) disqualified PML-N senators Haroon Akhtar and Sadia Abbasi for still holding dual nationalities at the time of filing their nomination papers for the upper house of the parliament.
Bilal Manto, who was assisting the SC in the case, said that whether or not a nationality could be completely renounced depends on that particular country’s laws.
Citing Canada as an example, Manto said that the Canadian law does not allow its citizens to give up its nationality altogether once it has been procured.
Following Manto’s argument, Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar gave the orders of disqualification under Article 63 (1)(c) of the 1973 Constitution. During the hearing, Justice Nisar said that while the time of a person renouncing a nationality can be counted from the day they write to their respective embassy to relieve them of the second nationality, the letter should already be written at the time a candidate submits their nomination papers for a public office.
“This was not the case for Abbasi,” the chief justice observed.
The chief justice also told the counsels of Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar and PML-N’s Nuzhat Sadiq to furnish their clients’ verified affidavits showing that they had given up their second nationalities before filing their nomination papers.