ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court on Friday accepted a petition asking the court to expedite the hearings in the disqualification case against federal minister Faisal Vawda, who had allegedly hidden his dual nationality while filing nomination papers for the 2018 elections.
The petition was filed by Mian Faisal, who is represented by Barrister Jahangir Jadoon in the case against Vawda.
The directions to expedite the case were given by the Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) Justice Amir Farooq to the registrar office.
The applicant stated in the plea that Vawda held the US nationality while filing nomination papers. He alleged that the minister did not disclose his dual citizenship at the time.
The plea mentioned that the last hearing was held on January 29, 2020.
Vawda submitted the papers to the Election Commission of Pakistan on June 11 and the returning officer accepted them on June 18, said the plea.
The petitioner stated that the senior PTI leader submitted an application to nullify his US nationality on June 22, which was after his nomination papers were accepted. The petition said that Vawda, till date, holds a public office illegally.
The applicant further said that Vawda has not submitted his response to the court so far in the case, adding that the other parties want to stall the case. He noted that no hearings have been held since January this year.
The applicant’s lawyer requested the court today (Friday) that the hearing of the case should be held next week.
The court has sought a reply from Vawda, the Election Commission of Pakistan and other parties to the case by next week.
When did the issue come into limelight?
In January, The News did an investigative report revealing that Vawda may have committed perjury by falsely declaring in an oath to the ECP that he did not hold any foreign nationality.
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.
In detail: Federal minister Faisal Vawda may have hidden his dual nationality from ECP
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.
It was only after getting the approval from the ECP that Vawda approached the US Consulate in Karachi to relinquish his US nationality. This means that the minister had been an American citizen at the time his candidature was finalised.
Official US documents show that Vawda approached the US consulate for the revocation of his American citizenship on June 22, 2018 (Friday).
Usually the process takes a while, however, the consulate issued the ‘Certificate of Loss of Nationality’ to Vawda on its next working day, which was June 25, 2018 (Monday), according to the documents obtained by publication.