IHC moved to disqualify three PTI lawmakers - Pakistan Today

IHC moved to disqualify three PTI lawmakers

ISLAMABAD: A petition seeking the disqualification of three Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmakers has been filed in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) in the backdrop of dual nationality and concealing material facts from the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

PTI Members of National Assembly (MNA) Maleeka Bokhari, Tashfeen Safdar and Kanwal Shauzab have been alleged to hold dual nationalities for which petitioners Abdullah Khan and Chaudhry Mehmood Ali Hashim are seeking their disqualification.

The petition filed through their counsel, Ahmed Raza Kasuri, has held the three lawmakers and ECP as respondents.

The petition states that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) identified Maleeka Bokhari as a United Kingdom (UK) passport holder; however, Bokhari confirmed that she had renounced her UK nationality and surrendered her passport while claiming that the UK Home Office also acknowledged the same through her affidavit.

The petition says that Ms Bokhari had referred to email correspondence between herself and the British authorities but the emails were dated June 11, 2018 and Ms Bokhari had submitted her nominations papers on June 10, 2018.

“She was still a dual national on the deadline set by the ECP for the submission of nomination papers,” the petition says.

Bokhari currently serves as the Parliamentary Secretary of Law & Justice.

Regarding Tashfeen Safdar, the petitioner argued that the legislator submitted her nomination papers on June 8 while an FIA report forwarded to the ECP identified her as a British passport holder.

“She had held a foreign passport when she surrendered vide a declaration of renunciation dated March 25, 2013; which was registered and effectuated by the UK Home Office on April 4, 2013,” the petition says.

It continues on to state that Ms Safdar had to disclose her renunciation in the affidavit dated June 8 and that failure to do so [is] tantamount to perjury and fabricating evidence.

The petitioner argued that Kanwal Shauzab contested the senate election on a general seat from the federal capital and provided details of her registration as a voter in the federal capital comparing although her permanent and present addresses are in Rawalpindi and Sargodha.

“Ms Shauzab has misled the ECP about her residence and registration of vote and that she was, therefore, ineligible for contesting the elections of holding a seat in the National Assembly (NA),” the petition states.

The petitioners have requested the court to direct these lawmakers to clarify their stance and in case the court is not satisfied with their response, the ECP be directed to de-notify them under articles 62 and 63 of the constitution.

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