Pakistani minister's senate membership suspended over dual nationality05-06-2012
ISLAMABAD, (Xinhua): The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Monday suspended the parliament membership of the country's Interior Minister Rehman Malik over dual nationality, court officials said.
The Supreme Court observed that the interior minister, who is a member of the senate, had failed to prove that he has renounced British nationality.
The court said that the documents produced before it suggest that the minister was holding dual nationality at the time when he became a member of the senate.
During the hearing, Malik's lawyer presented his client's declaration of renouncing his British nationality, but the three- member bench disregarded the documents as 'meaningless'and remarked that the documents were not what the bench asked for.
Malik's lawyer had submitted an affidavit before the court earlier stating that he renounced his British citizenship in 2008, but has failed to produce the required evidence. "The court orders are being ridiculed...Why required documents were not submitted to the court,"Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry observed in an interim order.
Malik's lawyer claimed that he had submitted the required documents in the court, but failed to submit any evidence of Malik renouncing his British nationality during the hearing.
The apex court last week also suspended membership of influential ruling party member, Farha Isfahani, for having American nationality. Isfahani is the wife of former Pakistan's ambassador to the U.S..
The attorney general argued that the Supreme Court is not the competent authority to disqualify or suspend anyone's membership and the court's suspension of Farahnaz Ipahani's National Assembly membership was also incorrect.
The Supreme Court admitted another application against the dual nationality held by 17 other parliamentarians, including Finance Minister Dr Hafeez Shaikh and opposition member Khwaja Asif.
Editor: Mo Hong'e