ISLAMABAD: Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday warned Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Senator Faisal Vawda to reserve verdict in the case seeking his disqualification if he failed to file written arguments in the case by the next hearing on December 23rd.
A three-member ECP bench comprising Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja and Members ECP Nisar Ahmed Durrani and Shah Muhammad Jatoi heard the case filed by Pakistan Peoples Party Member National Assembly (MNA) Qadir Khan Mandokhail and others against Vawda for allegedly submitting false affidavit in the electoral body regarding his nationality ahead of 2018 general polls.
During the case proceedings, the CEC, addressing Vawda, said that it was an established fact that he was dual national. “I was a born dual national,” Vawda replied.
The CEC asked Vawda to produce the certificate regarding relinquishment of his American nationality.
“I am not aware of the paperwork here and there. I will try to get the certificate,” he said, adding that he did not remember the exact date when he left the United States nationality.
Raja, the CEC, referred to a document submitted by Mandokhail, which the PPP MNA claimed, was Vawda’s nationality certificate that, according to him, established that he was a dual national at the time of submission of his nomination papers for general elections.
“This is just a photocopy. Anyone can bring this kind of document. There are seven such so-called certificates doing rounds on social media. Which one should be deemed authentic,” Vawda responded. He pleaded to the ECP to dispose of case against him on the grounds that he was an MNA when the case was filed and he quit the NA membership. The CEC said that the Islamabad High Court (IHC) ordered to decide this case in two months.
“We have to decide these cases and start preparations for the next elections,” he said. The PTI senator sought time till coming January 5 to file written arguments in the case, taking the plea that his counsel’s family members were ill and he was busy with their treatment.
The bench rejected this request and directed him to file written arguments by December 23, while adjourning the case till the said date.
Vawda was elected a senator in this year’s March 3 Senate elections and stepped down as an MNA in an apparent bid to avoid a decision against him from the IHC and the ECP in dual-nationality case.
On March 3, the same day he was elected as Senator, the IHC ordered the ECP to initiate proceedings against Vawda under Article 62(1)(f) for allegedly submitting a false affidavit related to his dual nationality.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021