ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari appointed Senator Rehman Malik as the Federal Interior Minister on Friday soon after he was sworn back into the parliament.
Malik had resigned from his Senate membership after the Supreme Court suspended him from the parliament on June 4 for allegedly running for the Senate in 2009 while still holding British citizenship. He was elected unopposed at a by-election in the same seat for the Senate, or upper house of parliament, which he held prior to his June suspension, paving the way for him to be reconfirmed as a cabinet minister.
The swearing-in ceremony was broadcast live on state television.
The Constitution bars MPs from acquiring foreign nationality.
Documents that Malik submitted to the court failed to convince judges that he had renounced his dual nationality before being elected.
Under the constitution, only members of parliament can hold the rank of cabinet minister.
After his suspension, Malik was swiftly appointed the prime minister’s “advisor” on interior affairs, effectively allowing him to keep his interior ministry job.
The by-election was held in Karachi, although Malik is originally from Punjab.
The Karachi seat won by Malik is reserved for technocrats. Malik is a former official from the Federal Investigation Agency.
The Supreme Court has recently suspended a number of MPs over dual nationality, including Farahnaz Ispahani, an advisor to Zardari and the wife of Pakistan’s sacked ambassador to Washington. She holds dual Pakistani-US nationality.
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