Islamabad: The Pakistan Supreme Court has suspended the National Assembly membership of Farahnaz Ispahani, for holding dual nationality, ruling that foreigners have no right to represent the people of Pakistan or decide issues of national importance.
Ispahani is the spouse of Pakistan's former ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani.
A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, heard the petition filed by United Human Rights Commission chairman Syed Mahmood Akhtar Naqvi, reports The News.
He had pleaded before the court to disqualify such parliamentarians and restrain them from contesting the next general elections.
The court, after hearing the case, suspended the NA membership of Ispahani after she admitted to holding US citizenship.
"She cannot attend the proceedings of the National Assembly and also cannot attend any cabinet meeting or any meetings of different committees of either the Senate or National Assembly till the case is pending before the court," the chief justice said.
"Therefore, on having gone through the admission made by her and taking into consideration the oath of the allegiance she had already taken, while acquiring the citizenship of the United States of America, we are prima facie of the opinion that it would be in the interest of this country/nation as well as to enforce the Constitution, her membership of the National Assembly is suspended," the court ruled in its order.
"I took an oath at the time when I was elected as a Member of National Assembly to be faithful, and loyal to Pakistan and my dual citizenship has not and will not undermine my loyalty to Pakistan," Ispahani told the court.
First Published: Saturday, May 26, 2012, 14:17