ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday suspended the membership of three Members of Provincial Assembly (MPA) – two from Punjab and one from Sindh – while hearing the dual nationality case.
The court suspended the membership of Muhammad Akhlaq and Amina Buttar of the Punjab Assembly for their US nationality, while from Sindh the membership of Ahmed Ali Shah was suspended for having UK nationality. The court also observed that it will not discriminate against anyone.
Meanwhile, Buttar – one of the three MPAs disqualified – sought some time to engage a counsel but the court suspended her membership over her confession that she was a US nationality holder.
On the other hand, Akhlaq told the court that he was unaware about the constitutional bar in this regard. But the court observed that it was mentioned in the declaration of member of assembly.
Meanwhile, the court turned down the Senate chairman’s request to restore memberships of Rehman Malik and Farahnaz Ispahani.
Attorney General Irfan Qadir had handed the request letter written by Senate Chairman Nayyar Hussain Bukhari to Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. The contents of the letter suggested that the court was discriminating in this case and targeting only the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) members.
During Wednesday’s hearing, the apex court raised several questions regarding the British citizenship of former interior minister Malik. His counsel Chaudhry Azhar could not offer satisfactory replies and sought more time.
The case was adjourned till June 21.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 14th, 2012.