LAHORE: The Lahore High Court issued another notice to Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) MPA Rana Asif Mahmood for July 5 as he failed to appear on Friday in a petition challenging his assembly seat on allegations of dual nationality and on being elected on a minority seat despite being a Muslim.
During the previous hearing, the Lahore High Court chief justice had ordered Mahmood to appear personally before the court on Friday, but the MPA failed to comply with the order. Mahmood’s counsel told the court that his client is under treatment at a hospital in Karachi. He apprised the court that his client is a permanent resident of Canada but not did not have Canadian nationality.
In his rebuttal, the petitioner’s counsel argued that if Mahmood is not a Canadian national then why an overseas identity card has been issued to him.
Petitioner Faisal Ilyas Sadiq, through his counsel Saiful Malook, argued that the respondent has an overseas identity card which is granted only to a Pakistani citizen who have passport of some other country. He alleged that Mahmood is a Canadian national and under the Article 63 of the Constitution, a person holding dual nationality could not be elected as a member of the national or provincial assembly.
He further contended that Mahmood was a Muslim but was elected to the Punjab Assembly member on a seat reserved for non-Muslims in the 2008 general elections.
He said that Mahmood for these reasons, his portfolio should be taken back from him.
He added that Mahmood’s membership can be suspended till the court passes a final verdict as the Supreme Court has done in the dual nationality case.
The petitioner alleged that Mahmood is a Canadian businessman but got elected as an MPA by painting himself as a Christian.
Some of his opponents, in search of documents to prove that he was a Canadian national, found his identity card showing him as a Muslim, he added.
He also said that they found an identity card attributed to Asif, issued in 2009, for overseas Pakistanis which also showed him as a Muslim. He also presented the card to the court.
The petitioner also said that according to Nadra’s record, Mahmood’s three children were also shown as Muslim but his wife is shown as Christian in the identity cards.
On the other hand, Mahmood’s counsel had contested the case of his client being a non-Muslim, pleading that he had been wrongly depicted as a Muslim in Nadra’s record due to a typographical mistake, which had been later corrected.
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