An Election Tribunal of the Sindh High Court (SHC) on Tuesday dismissed an appeal challenging the acceptance of the nomination papers of PTI leader Faisal Vawda for the forthcoming Senate elections. The tribunal allowed the water resources minister to contest the Senate polls.
The election tribunal on Monday has sought a reply from Federal Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda after his Senate nomination was challenged. Advocate Qadir Khan Mandokhail filed a petition in the election tribunal. He has challenged the returning officer’s decision to approve Vawda’s nomination papers.
The election tribunal has served notices to the respondents and summoned them for arguments tomorrow.
Mandokhail said that Vawda hid the truth about his US citizenship, adding that he doesn’t deserve to hold any public post. The returning officer did not listen to any reservations against Vawda’s appointment, he claimed. The returning officer’s actions were illegal and unconstitutional.
Notably, a petition was filed in the high court in January seeking Vawda’s disqualification for allegedly concealing his US nationality at the time of filing his nomination papers to contest the 2018 general elections. Taking up the petition, the court had asked the minister to submit a response. However, the minister failed to comply with the order.
An Election Tribunal of the Sindh High Court (SHC) dismissed an appeal challenging the acceptance of the nomination papers of PTI leader Faisal Vawda for the forthcoming Senate elections.
— ARY News (@ARYNEWSOFFICIAL) February 23, 2021
A subsequent petition seeking contempt of court proceedings against the minister was filed on Wednesday. After the hearing, presided over by IHC Justice Aamir Farooq, the high court reserved its verdict.
More than eight appeals have been filed against the decisions of the returning officer (RO) over acceptance and rejection of the Senate nomination papers from Sindh province. The appeals were filed before the appellate bench of the Sindh High Court (SHC).
Dual nationality: What future holds for Faisal Vawda?
It is worth noting that Faisal Vawda is accused of hiding his dual nationality while filing nomination papers back in 2018. According to a report, published by The News, Mr. Vawda was a US national when he submitted his documents in June, 2018.
According to the report, the last date to file nomination papers for the elections held in July 2018 was June 8 and later extended for another three days. Taking his documents and evidence, Vawda submitted election papers on the last date — June 11, 2018 —along with an affidavit wherein he declared himself holding no citizenship other than that of Pakistani. The Returning Officer (RO) of NA-249 Karachi, his electoral constituency, approved his nomination papers on June 18, 2018. It was only after this approval that Vawda applied for renunciation of his US nationality in US Consulate Karachi meaning thereby he was an American citizen at the time of filing.
Legal experts believe that whoever holds dual nationality at the time of submitting their nomination papers is set for instant disqualification. Moreover, the person concerned could be penalized for perjury as well.
PTI’s leader often remains in the spotlight for all wrong reasons. Recently, Mr. Vawda was in the news for flashing ‘military boot’ in a live TV show at opposition members of PPP and PML-N, ridiculing them for their unconditional support for Army Act Amendment Bill while disparaging the ruling party, PTI as the stooge of Establishment all this while.
Before that, he was schooled by his own party after his heroic entry at the site of a terror attack at the Chinese Embassy in Karachi. Faisal Vawda was spotted along with the Police wearing a bullet-resistant vest and a gun in hand.
PM Imran Khan also bashed and reprimanded Faisal Vawda, personally after he reached Line of Control and had himself photographed with the rubble of downed Indian fighter Jet. His stunt was not taken well in the party.