SC asks Malik to reveal details of dual nationality lawmakers
Taking notice of reports that quoted Malik and journalist Umar Cheema on the dual nationalities case, the SC directed for writing letters to Malik, Umar Cheema and Member of the National Assembly Shehnaz Sheikh to furnish details of members of the parliament and provincial assemblies holding dual nationality.
“In pursuance of the news story of Umar Cheema published in a daily dated 21.09.2012 under caption ‘Another dual national MNA spotted hiding behind secrecy’ and statement of A. Rahman Malik published in the same daily dated 22.09.2012 under caption “Many dual national MPs still in assemblies’, the Hon’ble Chief Justice has directed the office to send letters to Umar Cheema and Senator A. Rehman Malik to furnish details to substantiate the stand taken by them, enabling this court to deal with all of them equally in terms of Article 25 read with Article 5 of the Constitution and to send letter to Begum Shehnaz Sheikh through Secretary National Assembly to confirm the information given in the newspaper,” said a handout issued by the apex court.
“After pronouncement of the short order in Constitution Petition No. 05/2012 (Syed Mehmood Akhtar Naqvi v. Federation of Pakistan through Secretary Law & others), the paper dated 21.09.2012 published a news report under the caption ‘Another dual national MNA spotted hiding behind secrecy’ by Umar Cheema wherein it is averred that Begum Shehnaz Sheikh, former Minister of State for Health and PML-Q MNA, is an Australian-Pakistani, who has been the Australian citizen at least for 16 years, knowing well that a dual national is not eligible for the position she held in the previous Parliament and the present one,” said the order.
The newspaper, in its issue dated 22.09.2012, carried another report under the caption “Many dual national MPs still in assemblies” wherein the Interior Minister is reported to have said that a number of dual national legislators are still sitting in assemblies and that he will produce evidence to prove the allegation, if asked, said the handout.
Another news report stated that more than 30 members still have dual citizenship. Similarly, the handout said, with reference to Senator A. Rahman Malik, another media report stated that proceedings were conducted against only few of the members of assemblies whereas a large number of members had concealed their dual citizenship and he would produce the list of such members if so directed by the court or the government.
“This court vide aforesaid short order dated 20.09.2012 decided the cases of those parliamentarians and the members of the provincial assemblies in respect of whom either the petitioner or the interveners, M/S Waheed Anjum and Tariq Asad, advocates, had furnished information, whereas no one amongst the persons named hereinabove, including Umar Cheema or Senator A. Rahman Malik had come forward to assist the court”.