Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader and Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda was once again not present for the hearing of his disqualification case before the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday.
Upon the minister's consistent non-appearance, the ECP asked that he show respect to the same parliamentary body that he is a member of.
The minister’s lawyer filed a petition seeking withdrawal of the summons and also objected to the fine of Rs50,000 imposed by the ECP for non-appearance at the last hearing.
The lawyer stated that detailed arguments have been given on the admissibility of the petitions. He added that first, the commission should decide on its jurisdiction and the admissibility of petitions as the ECP cannot hear the petitions after a year-and-a-half.
Member Punjab Altaf Qureshi said that even then to keep the case hanging in balance this way was incomprehension and that Faisal Vawda has till date not submitted his reply.
Member Balochistan added that it seems that Faisal Vawda does not think too highly of the ECP.
Punjab member Altaf Qureshi said, “Where does the law say that we [ECP} do not have authority to hear [the case]? It would be better not to waste your time and ours.”
“Tell us clearly why the decision did not come? Are they above the law? Doesn't he respect the supremacy of the parliament that he is a member of?”
Upon these questions, the lawyer informed that Faisal Vawda was in Karachi and could not come as his mother was ill.
The ECP rejected Faisal Vawda's plea challenging the summons as well as rejected his plea in the disqualification case, where his lawyer had argued that the case was inadmissible.
Vawda submitted a fine of Rs50,000 to the commission, which directed him to deposit it in Sweet Home.
Member Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Irshad Qaiser said that the Election Tribunal Karachi has asked to raise the issue of dual citizenship in the relevant forum which is the Election Commission.
Faisal Vawda’s lawyer said that his client wants to become a senator and therefore, wants this case to be settled. He also added an apology to the Election Commission from his client for non-appearance in the case.
The ECP adjourned the hearing while summoning Faisal Wawda in March.