SC disqualifies senators Haroon Akhtar, Sadia Abbasi over dual nationalities

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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday disqualified Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senators Haroon Akhtar and Sadia Abbasi for holding dual nationalities.

A larger bench of the SC headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar ordered the disqualification of the two senators under Article 63 (1)(c) of the constitution, and asked the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to de-notify Haroon Akhtar and Saadia Abbasi, the sister of former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, and as members of the Upper House of Parliament.

The court held that both the senators possessed dual nationality at the time of submission of their nomination papers for the Senate election held in March this year.

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 Supreme Court was also hearing a petition against Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar for possessing dual nationality. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader, however, maintains that he had already surrendered his British nationality.

The court has also directed the Pakistan Foreign Ministry to verify Sarwar’s details from the British Foreign Office within six weeks.

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.