SC suspends Shehnaz, gives Malik 7 days for info on dual national MPs | Pakistan Today

SC suspends Shehnaz, gives Malik 7 days for info on dual national MPs

The Supreme Court on Wednesday gave Interior Minister Rehman Malik seven more days to submit a list of parliamentarians having dual nationalities, as the apex court suspended the National Assembly membership of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) MNA Begum Shehnaz Sheikh, who allegedly holds Australian citizenship.
A three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, was hearing a case pertaining to lawmakers holding dual nationalities.
During the hearing, no one appeared on Sheikh’s behalf despite the fact that the court had issued notice to her.
Umar Cheema, the reporter who broke the story, also testified before the court and alleged that Sheikh was an Australian national and possessed two passports. He further alleged that PPP MNA from Okara Rai Ghulam Mujtaba Kharral possessed Canadian nationality.
The chief justice said the fact that no one appeared on Sheikh’s behalf implied that she was not interested to pursue the case. The chief justice observed that a notice had also been issued to the National Assembly secretary in this regard.
The bench subsequently directed Sheikh to submit a reply on the matter in three days’ time and ordered MNA Capt (r) Rai Ghulam Mujtaba Kharral to submit his reply over the allegation that he was a Canadian national.
Meanwhile, the chief justice observed while hearing the dual nationality case that Interior Minister Rehman Malik needed some time to confirm certain information about the members of parliament who enjoyed dual nationalities.
During the course of the hearing, the interior minister apprised the bench, “I don’t have a compiled list of dual national parliamentarians”.
However, he told the court that he could assist the court in this regard.
He also urged the court to take cognisance of the fact that a petition had been filed by proclaimed offender (PO) Mahmood Akhtar Naqvi, who had later sought refuge in the court premises.
Malik said a proclaimed offender’s application should not have been admitted by the court as the authorities had also provided information about the PO.
He said Naqvi had violated Article 5 by concealing information from the court and he was wanted in some case.
Malik said he had no specific or confirm information about any dual national and rather he had made a statement on basis of “heresay”.
However, the chief justice said he had only been asked to assist the court in the larger public interest. He asked the minister to submit any detail about the dual national members of the parliament (MPs) per his media claims. He said if the minister thought it appropriate, he might provide the sensitive information in an in-camera hearing.
Malik, however, said he had no proper information, adding that he had come to know about the dual nationality of MPA Dr Tahir Ali Javed.
The minister assured the court to provide information on his return from the US tour.
“I give you an honest commitment that whatever comes to my knowledge, I will submit it with the court … I have been fighting against extremists, Taliban … I am now going to the US leading a Pakistani delegation for talks,” he added.

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