Rehman Malik: One passport and ministry short

The attempts by Rehman Malik to prove renunciation of his British citizenship took duplicity to another level.

Sufiyan Rana June 08, 2012
At some point prior to the 2009 Senate elections, Rehman Malik completed and signed a nomination form which, amongst other things, invited him to declare an oath stating,
… I am not subject to any of the disqualification specified in article 63 of the Constitution…

Now, article 63 of the Constitution lists 12 grounds on which disqualification of a member from the parliament may occur;  one of these is if the member ceases to be a citizen of Pakistan or acquires citizenship of a foreign state.

On May 29, 2012, the UK border agency advised Mr Malik that he was now registered as having renounced his British citizenship and furthermore provided him with a declaration of renunciation bearing the stamp of registration and confirming the date on which he had ceased to be a British citizen. This date was  May 30, 2012.

In completing and signing (on oath) the nomination form in 2009, Rehman Malik knowingly declared something to be true when he knew that it was not. At that point, he was still a British citizen. By doing so he acted dishonestly.

On May 2010, the Lahore High Court (LHC) dismissed an appeal by Rehman Malik against his conviction for corruption references by the accountability court and restored a three-year imprisonment sentence -  only for the sentence to be pardoned by virtue of the president exercising his authority under article 45.

Whilst the president's pardon related to the sentence passed and not the conviction, it is perhaps surprising that Rehman Malik’s Senate membership was not questioned given that he was still convicted by a court for acting in a manner prejudicial to the ideology of Pakistan - reason enough for disqualification under Article 63 (1)(g).

Notwithstanding these misdemeanours, the attempts by Rehman Malik to prove renunciation of his British citizenship took duplicity to another level. A cheque was presented as evidence of his attempt to renounce the citizenship in 2008. However, it contained an amount that would be payable for an application submitted in 2012 and not 2008 - leading to the obvious conclusion that it had been post dated.

Moreover, an affidavit - a witness statement taken on oath - purporting that the nationality had been renounced on March 25, 2008 was contradicted by the date contained on the supposed application submitted on April 25, 2008.

Despite the fact that Malik knowingly stated a falsehood in the nomination form, has been and stands convicted of an offence, and has potentially perjured himself with misleading information in the affidavit, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has seen it fit to appoint him as his adviser on internal affairs with the status of a federal minister.

Not only does this bring into question the seriousness with which the government views the Supreme Court, it brings into question the judgement of our prime minister; Gilani is content to appoint a man who has proven his diminished credibility as his advisor.

Another, and perhaps more interesting feature of this episode is the involvement of the British government and particularly its Home Office – a department notorious for taking its time in responding to any form of communication.

In Malik's case, they seem to have acted with lightening speed. In the midst of the Supreme Court seeking evidence of renunciation, a meeting takes place between Rehman Malik and his British counterpart Theresa May on  May 28, 2012. Following this, on May 29, the Home Office submits a letter to Mr Malik confirming that his British citizenship has been renounced.

The speed and expediency with which this took place raises uncomfortable questions about the extent to which outside influences play a part in the way justice is dispensed in Pakistan.

Read more by Sufiyan here.

Sufiyan Rana A practising Solicitor-Advocate in England and Wales and a Senior Partner of Azmi-Rana Solicitors.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Karamat Hussain Janjua | 9 years ago | Reply I posted by comments yesterday but it appears that the same were not posted on blog for one reason or the other. The Constitutuion of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973 envisages that nobody having dual nationality qualifies to contest the elections of National, Provincial Assemblies and Senate of Pakistan. At the time of administering oath a member of the above highest forum takes oath under Article 65 of the Constitution ibid that he shall rem ain faithful of the State of Pakistan while Article 63(1)(c) disqualfies an incumbent to contest election of the above fora when he is enjoying dual nationality. Giving right to vote to overseas Pakistanis and allowing them to contest the elctions should not be confounded with each other. A person who once takes oath while obtaining nationality of an other country rather his native country he in all circumstances abandons the nationality of his previous country during war and peace and then he does not remain faithful to his last country of nationality he is a big deceiver and liar. Such a characterless person should not be allowed to become members of parliament to decide the fate of this poor countrymen. He by all means is an outsider. Qualification of a member of Parliament also includes to be honest and "AMEEN". The present debates on various media channels are unconstitutional and uncalled for. The move of the present Federal Government is an attempt to launch chemical attack on the Constitution and the most effective pillar in shape of judiciary which has been bestowed upon and conferred powers by . the Constitution itself. No legislation can be introduced just to defeat the decisions of the Court of apex (Supreme Court). All such legislation is subject to the judicial review of the Court of apex and the countrymen shall stand by the Court of apex agaisnt the politics of EVASSIVE DENIAL TO THE RULE OF LAW AND THE CONSTITTUION. KARAMAT HUSSAIN JANJUA ADVOCATE HIGH COURT CELL NO. 03125111074.
M. Ahmed | 9 years ago | Reply "In Malik’s case, they seem to have acted with lightning speed. In the midst of the Supreme Court seeking evidence of renunciation,..."
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