Dual nationality: Top court allows ECP to issue notification of 5 Senators-elect

  • Apex court on Monday ordered ECP to halt notification announcing victory of four senators-elect for holding dual nationalities
Pakistan

LAHORE – The Supreme Court (SC) on Saturday issued an interim order directing Election Commission of Pakistan to issue notification of five Senator-elect, who are under the radar for holding dual nationality.

A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, resumed hearing of a case concerning five senators-elect – Sadia Abbasi, Haroon Akhtar, Nuzhat Sadiq, Kuhda Babar and Chaudhry Sarwar – believed to possess dual nationality at Lahore Registry.

In the interim order, the senators-elect has been allowed to vote in the Senate chairmanship elections, scheduled to be held on March 12.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan, during the hearing, asked what would happen to the Senate chairman’s election if the senator-elects are disqualified in the future.

To which, the chief justice replied that a larger bench will have to take up the matter as it was complicated one. He also ordered a new bench to hear the case.

During the hearing, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) senator-elect Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar informed the court that he renounced his British nationality in 2013.

Justice Nisar asked if he left the nationality for temporarily, to which Sarwar’s counsel replied that his client can restore the nationality under the British law.

The chief justice remarked that Sarwar must give an undertaking that he would never restore his nationality, adding that you will be stood disqualified if restore British nationality.

On Monday, the apex court ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to halt the notification announcing the victory of four senators-elect for holding dual nationalities.

Halt notifications of senators-elect with dual nationality, SC orders ECP

Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, who was hearing a case pertaining to dual citizenship of judges and civil servants, ordered to halt the notification after the attorney general informed the court that four senators, namely, Sadia Abbasi, Haroon Akhtar, Nuzhat Sadiq and Chaudhry Sarwar, hold dual nationality.

At last hearing on Thursday, the chief justice said he was not aware of the schedule of election for Senate top slots when the order of halting the notification was issued.

The chief justice remarked that the case has been fixed for hearing before the election as he did not want to withhold the notifications of eligible lawmakers.

“PTI’s Sarwar is believed to be a UK national, while Nuzhat Sadiq and PM Abbasi’s sister Sadia hold a US nationality,” ECP Secretary Babar Yaqoob, who was representing the body, told the court.

“Akhtar had previously denied holding a foreign nationality, but the interior ministry had confirmed that he was a Canadian citizen,” Yaqoob had said.