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March 7, 2021

IHC issues detailed judgment: ‘Vawda was US citizen at filing time, ineligible to contest election’

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March 7, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Saturday said in its detailed verdict that prima facie Muhammad Faisal Vawda was a American national at the time of filing his nomination papers in 2018, and he was ineligible for contesting election for being a dual national.

The IHC issued its detailed order in the disqualification case of Federal Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda. Justice Aamer Farooq had disposed of the petition challenging Vawda’s election on March 3 after he submitted his resignation from the National Assembly.

The IHC, in its detailed order, said that prima facie the affidavit submitted by the PTI leader regarding his dual nationality at the time of his election to the National Assembly was false.

Since the affidavits were submitted to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), it was just and proper that the Commission should probe the matter of veracity of the affidavit furnished by Faisal Vawda on June 11, 2018. And if it is found to be false, action should be taken in pursuant to the observations, made in PLD-2020 SC-591, the order said.

The judgment noted that since the lawmaker had resigned as an MNA, no writ of quo warranto could be issued with respect to holding dual nationality.

However, the matter of furnishing false affidavit is to be probed by the ECP [...] and the Commission may pass appropriate orders with respect to the same, it added.

The court also expressed its dismay that Faisal Vawda lingered on the matter by not filing reply under one pretext or the other, which delayed the adjudication on the matter.

Vawda had won the 2018 general election from Karachi’s NA-249 constituency.

In January last 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 report, Vawda was in possession of a US passport at the time he filed his nomination papers on June 11 2018. The minister remained an American national even when the scrutiny of his nomination papers was completed.