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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday issued notices to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and others in a petition of a PPP leader to become party in Faisal Vawda’s disqualification case. A single bench of Justice Aamer Farooq heard the petition of Qadir Khan Mandokhail, a Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader, who lost the election against Federal Minister Faisal Vawda in 2018.

During the hearing, the IHC bench inquired what connection the petitioner has with Faisal Vawda’s qualification case.

The counsel replied that his client had contested the election in the said constituency and he was directly linked with it.

Then, the court issued notices to the respondents including Faisal Vawda and the ECP, and sought their comments till the next date of the hearing.

Mandokhail impleaded party in a petition seeking disqualification of the Federal Minister for Water Resources for allegedly concealing his US nationality at the time of filing his nomination papers to contest the last general election.

He contended that Vawda was incompetently holding the office of Federal Minister in the cabinet since he was liable to be disqualified for filing a false affidavit in violation of the Constitution as well as the election laws.

The petitioner has sought the disqualification of Faisal Vawda, saying that Vawda contested the election from NA-249 (West-II) Karachi in July 2018 on a ticket of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

However, he was a dual national at the time of filing his nomination papers, concealing his American nationality by falsely declaring on oath before the ECP that “he did not have any foreign nationality”.

The petition, while mentioning documents of Vawda rescinding US nationality, pointed out that the minister was a US citizen at the time of submitting his nomination papers on June 11, 2018, and even during the scrutiny of his nomination papers while the returning officer of his electoral constituency approved his papers on June 18. The petition maintained, “It was only after this approval that respondent No 1 [Vawda] applied for renunciation of his US nationality at the US Consulate, Karachi, on June 22.” It added that the US Consulate issued the renunciation certificate to Vawda on June 25.

Moreover, the petition stated that Vawda had on June 11, 2018 also submitted an affidavit, claiming that he was not a dual national whereas till that time, his foreign nationality was intact.

The petitioner maintained that Vawda “contested the election of National Assembly while submitting false declaration and hiding his dual nationality” which makes him “liable to be disqualified under the Constitution and law of the land”.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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