Pak SC suspends yet another MP over dual nationality
Islamabad: Pakistan's Supreme Court on Wednesday continued its drive against lawmakers with dual nationality, suspending a PML-Q member of parliament on the ground that she has Australian citizenship.
The order to suspend Shehnaz Sheikh's membership of the National Assembly or lower house of parliament was issued by a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry.
No one appeared to represent Sheikh though a notice had been issued to her by the Supreme Court.
The Chief Justice remarked that the fact that no one had appeared on Sheikh's behalf implied that she was not interested in pursuing her case.
The bench subsequently directed Sheikh to submit a reply within three days.
It also directed Rai Ghulam Mujtaba Kharral, a lawmaker of the Pakistan People's Party, to reply to an allegation that he has Canadian citizenship.
The same bench had earlier disqualified 11 federal and provincial lawmakers and said that Interior Minister Rehman Malik stands to lose his membership of the Senate or upper house of parliament as he had made a false declaration during elections held in 2008.
The Supreme Court has directed the Election Commission to decide the case of Malik, who has claimed that he has renounced his British citizenship.
In a related development, Malik too appeared in the apex court today in response to a notice that had asked him to provide information regarding his reported claim that there were "many" lawmakers with dual nationality.
The notice was issued to Malik after he was quoted by the media as saying that he had information about lawmakers with dual nationality.
Though the Interior Ministry issued a clarification that Malik had never made such a remark, the apex court summoned him to appear today.
During the proceedings, Malik told the bench that he did not have any list of parliamentarians with dual nationality.
However, the court directed him to submit a written report regarding parliamentarians with dual citizenship in seven days and adjourned the case till October 17.
The court also directed the Information Secretary to submit a transcript of Malik's press conference wherein he made the statement that he could supply the names of lawmakers with dual nationality.