Election Commission of Pakistan had reserved its judgment on a petition seeking disqualification of Vawda on December 23, 2021
Shakhsiyaat Web News
Wednesday 7 Rajab 1443 9 February 2022
Report: Saleem Azar
Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has declared PTI’s Senator Faisal Vawda disqualified in a case related to his dual nationality.
Earlier on December 23, the ECP had reserved its judgment on a petition seeking disqualification of Vawda for concealing his dual nationality at the time of filing his election nomination papers in 2018.
An ECP bench headed by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja had reserved its ruling after the complainant — PPP MNA Qadir Khan Mandokhail — completed his arguments.
During the last hearing, Qadir Khan Mandokhail and Faisal Vawda had appeared before an ECP bench. CEC Sikandar Sultan Raja had asked Mandokhail whether he wanted to present more documents or give additional arguments.
Mandokhail had said it was the 30th hearing of the case but he could not get the answers to his questions. The PPP leader had said, “ECP has been issuing warnings for the last one-and-a-half years.”
On this, Raja had said that the ECP will decide the case it gets the answers or not.
Mandokhail was of the view that Faisal Vawda had held US nationality at the time of filing his election nomination papers. He had said that the concerned RO was not punished as he had rejected his papers instead of disqualifying Vawda.
The PPP leader had said that Vawda had falsely declared in an oath to the ECP that he did not hold any foreign nationality. The PTI leader had concealed his dual nationalityy during the scrutiny of his nomination papers, said Mandokhail.
Vawda’s counsel, however, had rejected the allegations, saying that his client never applied for another country’s nationality. He had said Vawda was born in the US and that his client had cancelled his American passport.
As per the NADRA’s record, Vawda’s US citizenship had been seized on May 29, 2018, his counsel had said.
The chief election commissioner had inquired whether NADRA could issue a certificate that says an individual is a Pakistani citizen and not that of any other country.
“How can NADRA know this? We will look into this matter,” the chief election commissioner had said.
After hearing the arguments of both sides, the ECP had reserved its verdict in Vawda’s disqualification case.
Vawda had won the 2018 general election from Karachi’s NA-249 constituency.
In January this year, an investigative report published in The News had revealed that Vawda may have committed perjury by falsely declaring in an oath to the ECP that he did not hold any foreign nationality.
According to The News, Vawda was in possession of a United States passport at the time he filed his nomination papers on June 11, 2018. The minister remained an American national even at the time the scrutiny of his nomination papers were completed.
The Supreme Court of Pakistan in a past judgment has categorically ruled that candidates who hold dual nationality are supposed to submit a renunciation certificate of the foreign nationality along with their nomination papers.
The same judgment has previously led to the disqualification of various lawmakers, notable among whom Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senators Saadia Abbasi and Haroon Akhtar.