Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Thursday disqualified 12 federal and provincial lawmakers, including Interior Minister Rehman Malik, for violating provisions of the Constitution by holding dual nationality.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry issued the order in response to a petition filed by a man named Mehmood Akhtar Naqvi, who had asked the apex court to disqualify all lawmakers having dual nationality.
However, in the case of Mr. Malik -- who was a British citizen until May 29, 2012 -- the disqualification related to his membership of the Senate or upper house of Parliament between 2008 and June this year.
After the apex court had suspended Mr. Malik’s membership of the Senate in June on the ground that he had not provided proof of renouncing his British citizenship, Mr. Malik had resigned as a lawmaker. He had contested a by poll to the Senate in July and was re-elected to the upper house.
The court also observed that Mr. Malik had submitted an erroneous affidavit for the 2008 Senate elections in violation of election laws.
It declared that Mr. Malik, “in view of the false declaration filed by him at the time of contesting the election to the Senate held in the year 2008, wherein he was elected, cannot be considered sagacious, righteous, honest and ameen (faithful).”
The fate of Mr. Malik’s current membership of the Senate will depend on the outcome of action that will have to be taken against him by the Chairman of the Senate and the Election Commission on the basis of Thursday’s Supreme Court order, legal experts said.
Announcing the verdict the bench said that under Article 63 (1C) of the Constitution no lawmaker can hold dual nationality.