ISLAMABAD: PPP lawmaker Captain (retd) Ghulam Mujtaba Rai, who was elected to the National Assembly from NA-143 constituency, was found to be holding dual nationality on Friday, just a day before the completion of the assembly’s five-year term.
The Supreme Court (SC) ordered his disqualification and instructed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to immediately “de-notify” him as a member of parliament.
A three-judge bench — comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed also ordered ECP Secretary Ishtiak Ahmed Khan to furnish the list of lawmakers disqualified under Article 63(1c) of the Constitution.
The ECP was asked to inform the SC on March 25 about actions initiated against members of parliament for possessing dual nationality.
On Sept.21, the court had disqualified five members of the NA and six of the provincial assemblies of Punjab and Sindh.
MNAs sent home were Chaudhry Zahid Iqbal (for having the citizenship of UK) and Farahnaz Ispahani of the PPP (US), Farhat Mehmood Khan of the MQM (US), Jamil Ahmed Malik of the PML-N and PML-Q’s Begum Shahnaz Sheikh.
Disqualified MPAs included PML-N’s Mohammad Akhlaq (US), Dr Mohammad Ashraf Chohan (UK), Chaudhry Nadeem Khadim (UK), PPP’s Amna Buttar (US) — all belonging to Punjab — and PPP’s Dr Ahmad Ali Shah (UK) and Nadia Gabol of the MQM, from Sindh.
Referring to Mujtaba, the court noted that he had yet to provide the certificate of renunciation of his Canadian citizenship under Section 9(3) of the Canadian Citizenship Act of 1985. But he had furnished a document issued by the High Commission of Canada.
His counsel Munir Paracha requested the bench to refer the case to the ECP on the ground that his client had filed an affidavit before the commission. Mujtaba had applied for renunciation of his Canadian nationality on Jan.20, 2007, he told the court. But the court rejected the request.
“Because of non-production of certification of renunciation at the time of filing of nomination papers before the ECP in 2007-08, Ghulam Mujtaba was not qualified to be an MNA under Article 63(1c) of Constitution,” the court order said.