Faisal Vawda disqualified in dual citizenship case

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ISLAMABAD, Feb 09,2022- The Election Commission of Pakistan – ECP has disqualified PTI Faisal Vawda in the dual citizenship case.

He has concealled dual nationality at the time of contesting the National Assembly election on a Karachi seat in the 2018 general elections.

A three-member bench headed by the Chief Election Commissioner delivered the verdict.

The ECP ordered to withdraw the notification of PTI leader Faisal Vawda as a senator and said that Faisal Vawda could approach the Supreme Court regarding the decision.

The ECP further said that Faisal Vawda should return all financial interests and privileges within two months. Vawda resigned from the National Assembly to cover up the “crime”.

Background of petitions for disqualification of Faisal Vawda

The petitions for disqualification of former Federal Minister Faisal Vawda were filed in the Election Commission of Pakistan two years ago on January 21, 2020 by the opposition candidates Abdul Qadir Mandokhel, Mian Faisal and Asif Mehmood while the formal hearing started on February 3, 2020.

During the hearings in the ECP, Faisal Vawda said that when he appeared before the Returning Officer during the general election, he had shown the canceled US passport on which he got clearance.

The petitioners submitted a photocopy of the certificate to the ECP, according to which Faisal Vawda relinquished his US citizenship on June 25, 2018, but Faisal Vawda did not recognize the copy.

When the Election Commission asked Faisal Vawda for a certificate of renunciation of US citizenship, he said that he did not know much about the legal paperwork of Pakistan or the United States.

The petitioners requested the Election Commission to personally contact the US Embassy for the certificate, but the Election Commission refused, saying it was not its prerogative.

Faisal Vawda’s name also appeared in Pandora Papers

Faisal Vawda, after being elected as a senator, also pleaded that these petitions were made when he was a member of the National Assembly, now they should be rejected, however, the Islamabad High Court on December 6 rejected the petition to continue the proceedings of the Election Commission.

The ECP had reserved its verdict in the Faisal Vawda disqualification case on December 23, which was announced today, February 9.

Faisal Vawda was the Federal Minister for Water Resources in 5 October 2018.

Lifelong disqualification?

Commenting on the verdict, Former Secretary Election Commission Kanwar Dilshad said that Faisal Vawda also falls into the category of lifelong disqualification like Nawaz Sharif and Jahangir Tareen.

Vawda to challenge the order in Supreme Court

At a press conference immediately after the order, Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed said Vawda will challenge the order in Supreme Court.

“Umer Amin Gandapur has received a stay order as well,” he added. Earlier, Gandapur was barred from contesting for mayor elections in Dera Ismail Khan. On Tuesday, however, the Islamabad High Court issued stay order on the electoral body’ decision.