‘Dual-citizenship holders’ allowed by SC to vote during Senate chairmanship poll

The Supreme Court of Pakistan, while hearing a suo motu case pertaining to the alleged dual nationality of five senators-elect, on Saturday ruled that the senators-elect be allowed to vote in the Senate chairmanship polls to be held on March 12.

In an earlier hearing of the case, the chief justice had admitted that he had not known that the elections for the Senate chairman were to be held on March 12 when he ordered the withholding of the notifications of their victory in the March 3 polls.

In today’s hearing, Justice Ijazul Ahsan asked what would happen to the Senate chairman’s election if the five senator-elects — Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s sister Sadia Abbasi, Nuzhat Sadiq and Haroon Akhtar Khan of the PML-N, Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, and Kuhda Babar, an independent candidate from Balochistan — are disqualified in the future.

“This is a complicated matter and a larger seven-member bench will have to look into the matter,” Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar replied, while ordering that a new bench be formed to deal with the case.

Last week, the chief justice, while hearing a suo motu case concerning civil servants holding dual nationality, had ordered the ECP to withhold the notifications he was told by the attorney general (AG) that they allegedly possessed dual nationality.

Since then, the chief justice had directed the five senators-elect to submit affidavits

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 that they had ‘permanently’ and ‘irrevocably’ renounced and surrendered their foreign nationality.

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