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Saturday, January 28, 2023
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Major upset for Faisal Vawda as SC rejects plea

Earlier, the ECP disqualified PTI senator Faisal Vawda as a lawmaker due to the alleged concealment of his dual nationality. However, the ECP also gave Vawda the right to reach out to the Supreme Court to challenge the verdict for his disqualification.

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The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) refuses to suspend the verdict regarding the life-long disqualification of PTI leader Faisal Vawda. A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial conducted a hearing on the petition of the PTI leader.

During the hearing, Chief Justice remarked that the court cannot suspend the verdict as the plaintiff submitted a fake affidavit. The court also issued notices to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and Attorney General and adjourned the hearing indefinitely.

Earlier, the ECP disqualified PTI senator Faisal Vawda as a lawmaker. The decision came in response to Faisal Vawda’s alleged concealment of his dual nationality at the time of contesting the National Assembly election on a Karachi seat in the 2018 general elections.

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The ECP directed the PTI leader to return his salary, including all the benefits he enjoyed as Senator within two months. Furthermore, ECP withdrew the notification declaring Vawda’s victory on a Senate seat in polls held last year.

ECP also gave Vawda the right to reach out to the Supreme Court to challenge the verdict for his disqualification. However, now the SC also refused to suspend the verdict.

Faisal Vawda dual nationality case

To clarify, back in 2020, an investigative report by The News revealed that Vawda was a dual national at the time of filing nomination papers for general elections in 2018. He concealed his American nationality by submitting an oath to ECP that he did not have any foreign nationality. Meanwhile, he applied for the renunciation of his nationality with the US consulate at Karachi AFTER submitting his nomination papers.

Important to note, the SC in a past judgement 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. However, Vawda failed to do that.

Soon after, (PPP) lawmaker Qadir Khan Mandokhail, Mian Faisal, and Mian Asif Mehmood had filed a plea against Vawda, seeking his disqualification. Vawda did not respond to the petitions but resigned as an MNA in March 2021.

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However, the IHC held him responsible for submitting a false affidavit regarding his nationality. It directed the ECP to proceed against him under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution that deals with disqualification.