ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Monday suspended the membership of another parliamentarian belonging to PPP for holding dual nationality.
A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and comprising Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain, issued the orders to suspend the membership of Zahid Iqbal, while hearing a petition seeking disqualification of lawmakers holding dual nationality. Zahid holds British citizenship. The court has already suspended the membership of Senator Rehman Malik, MNA Farahnaz Ispahani MNA, Muhammad Ikhlaq and Amna Butter (MPAs from Punjab, and Dr Ahmed Ali MPA from Sindh. Mian Abdul Rauf, who was representing Zahid Iqbal, could not present the required passport.
The petitioner, Mehmood Akhtar Naqvi, argued that the bench had suspended the membership of other dual nationality holder parliamentarians; therefore, similar action should also be taken against Zahid, adding that Article 25 of the Constitution demanded equal treatment for everyone.
The chief justice observed that the order should be sent to National Assembly Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza and remarked that they would not discriminate as they had suspended the membership of Rehman Malik, who was holding an important post. Member of NA Jamil Malik appeared before the court and submitted his statement in the court. He said he was not a citizen but a national of Holland. The chief justice questioned, “How can one be a national without being a citizen?”
MNA Farhat Khan, MPA Nadia Gabol, MPA Ashraf Chauhan, MPA Wasim Qadir and MPA Nadeem Qadir were again issued notices to appear before the court. During the proceedings, the court again directed Anwar Mansoor Khan, counsel for Rehman Malik, to submit renunciation form and the receipt of the fee submitted to UK Border Agency.
On the request of Anwar, the Court granted more time to Rehman Malik to submit his documents and adjourned the hearing till July 2.