- Vawda requests ECP to give him extension till January 5, 2022, for submission of written arguments.
- Says he “had been accused for keeping dual nationality over my election as the MNA” and he have left that seat.
- ECP says it will reserve the verdict if the arguments are not submitted on the given date.
PTI Senator Faisal Vawda has been directed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to submit his arguments in writing related to the disqualification case against him by December 23, Geo News reported Thursday.
The complainant — PPP MNA Qadir Khan Mandokhail — and Vawda appeared before a three-member bench, headed by Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan Sikandar Raja, for a hearing.
The ECP officials stated that Vawda hasn’t submitted his arguments in writing as yet. At this, Vawda requested an extension for the submission of the arguments, saying that his lawyer has someone ailing in his family.
“It has been talked about earlier as well. My mother also passed away due to an illness,” Vawda said.
Sikandar Raja countered Vawda’s excuse, saying that the case is already facing considerable delay, and directed him to submit the arguments.
“A clear directive had been passed for the submission of written arguments,” he said.
The CEC inquired if any of the petitioner has submitted their arguments.
He was informed that lawyer Asif Mehmood’s argument’s have been received while Mandokhail said that he has given his arguments too.
At this, Sikander Raja said that the ECP had noted Mandokhail’s arguments and it relies on them but he can still submit the arguments in writing.
The CEC, in conversation with Vawda, said that “the petitioner has brought the certificate for your renunciation of the nationality.”
He asked if Vawda acknowledges it.
Responding to the question, Vawda said that “it is a photocopy and the petitioner could have acquired it from anywhere.”
Sikandar Raja asked Vawda if he had renounced the other nationality when he submitted his nomination papers.
“When someone renounces the nationality, they get a certificate for it but you don’t acknowledge the one petitioners have brought,” the CEC said.
“I don’t know from where have they acquired the [certificate] from,” Vawda replied, adding that he had submitted the passport to the returning officer.
The petitioners have brought seven certificates, how do I acknowledge them, Vawda said, adding that he doesn’t know much about the paper works, “neither here nor there.”
“I had been accused for keeping dual nationality over my election as the MNA and I have left that seat.”
Vawda requested the CEC to grant him an extension till January 5, 2022.
At this, CEC Sikandar Raja said that the Islamabad High Court has directed to reach a decision in 60 days.
“We have to conclude the case and prepare for the next elections,” he said.
The ECP adjourned the hearing till December 23 while directing Vawda to submit his arguments by this date.
“The ECP will reserve the verdict if the arguments are not submitted on the given date.”
What is the 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.