Rehman Malik faces disqualification from house, cabinet

Interior Minister Rehman Malik is facing the possibility of being disqualified as an MP and from the federal cabinet.

Updated: Jan 23, 2010, 15:53 PM IST

Islamabad: Interior Minister Rehman Malik is facing the possibility of being disqualified as an MP and from the federal cabinet once the government begins implementing the Pakistan Supreme Court`s detailed judgement striking down a controversial graft amnesty.
Malik, who is a member of the Senate or upper house of parliament, has obtained bail in two corruption cases that were re-opened after the apex court struck down the National reconciliation Ordinance though a brief order last month.

In its detailed judgement issued this week, the court again directed the government to reopen all cases scrapped under the NRO.

Malik has also been declared a "proclaimed offender" in two cases filed by the Federal Investigation Agency. Legal experts say this alone disqualifies him from being a Senator and also opens the possibility of him being arrested.

The minister`s counsel Amjad Iqbal Qureshi told The News daily that the minister’s conviction in absentia in two corruption cases has been suspended by the Lahore High Court, which also granted him bail.

Qureshi, however, said he was unaware of the FIA cases against Malik in which the minister is reportedly still an "absconder".

Sources in the FIA told The News that according to a complaint filed in a police station in Peshawar in November 1998 under the Exit from Pakistan (Control) Ordinance and the Passport Act, Malik was accused of leaving the country through an unauthorised route despite his name being on the Exit Control List, which includes people barred from leaving Pakistan.

Proceedings in this case were completed and Malik was declared a proclaimed offender by court, the sources said. In another complaint filed in January 1999 in a police station in Faisalabad under the Pakistan Penal Code and Prevention of Corruption Act, Malik and a FIA official were booked for the wrongful registration of a case against two persons. Malik was declared a proclaimed offender in this case too.

A FIA source said Malik has not sought bail in these two cases. Malik was also dismissed from service when he was the additional director general of FIA.

According to Article 63(i) of Pakistan’s Constitution, a person who has been dismissed from government service is disqualified from becoming a member of Parliament.