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ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Thursday reserved its verdict in the dual nationality case seeking disqualification of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Senator Faisal Vawda, likely to be announced in the coming days.

A three-member ECP bench heard the case separately filed by Member National Assembly (MNA) Qadir Khan Mandokhel from Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Mian Faisal, and Asif Mehmood seeking Vawda’s disqualification in the dual nationality case.

One, Dost Ali had also moved the ECP against Vawda but his petition was dismissed due to non-pursuance.

During hearing, Barrister Moeed, the defendant’s counsel, produced the senator’s birth certificate and another certificate issued by the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) confirming that Vawda holds Pakistan’s nationality.

In his arguments, the counsel said that Vawda was born in California and was an American national by birth. The senator got his American passport cancelled before submitting his nomination papers for 2018 general elections, he added. The documents related to passport cancellation were submitted to the returning officer at the time of submission of nomination papers for 2018 general elections, the counsel said.

Nisar Ahmed Durrani, one of the bench members, questioned how could the cancellation of passport be deemed as relinquishment of nationality.

Disqualification case: IHC rejects Faisal Vawda's petition against ECP's verdict

Moeed said the Nadra cancelled Vawda’s National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP) and issued him Computerised National Identity Card (CNIC) on May 29, 2018.

Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, the bench member, questioned whether the Nadra had any mechanism to ascertain, if anyone had foreign nationality.

The barrister replied that every CNIC was issued after verification by the Intelligence Bureau (IB).

Mandokhel said that Vawda did not mention the date of the relinquishment of his foreign nationality.

He said the RO’s decision to accept the nomination papers of Vawda and reject his (Mandokhel’s), was wrong.

Jatoi, the ECP bench member, asked Mandokhel whether he challenged the RO’s decision at any forum. The MNA replied that he moved appellate tribunal against the ROs decision.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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