ISLAMABAD - Eighteen legislators did not submit oath statements to affirm not being the nationals of any other state but Pakistan as the given deadline went passed yesterday (Friday).

The Election Commission of Pakistan would hold a meeting sometime next week to proceed in the light of court ruling against those legislators who did not comply with the Supreme Court orders to file nationality affidavits, an official said.

Including Donia Aziz and Arif Aziz Sheikh, the two Members National Assembly (MNAs), who have admitted having foreign nationality, the number of lawmakers having not filed nationality affidavits becomes 20.

The 18 legislators include nine MNAs, five Members Provincial Assembly (MPAs) from Sindh, three senators and a MPA from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.  All the MPAs from Punjab and Balochistan have submitted their oath declarations.

The MNAs to be proceeded against are: Maulana Muhammad Qasim, Syed Allauddin, Chaudhry Tassaduq Masud Khan, Syed Tayyab Hussain, Dr Nadeem Ehsan, Haider Abbass Rizvi, Sabeen Rizvi, Fauzia Ejaz and Dr Araish Kumar. The MPAs from Sindh Assembly are: Murad Ali Shah, Sadiq Ali Memon, Abdul Moid Siddique, Askari Taqvi and Raza Haroon. The senators are: Malik Sallah ud din Dogar, Nawabzada Mir Haji Lashkari and Haji Khan Afridi while the only MPA from KP Assembly is Engineer Javaid Iqbal.

Donia Aziz and Arif Aziz Sheikh have send separate applications to the ECP contending that the two lawmakers are dual nationals by birth and have not acquired foreign nationality nor have they relinquished Pakistani nationality. On these grounds, Aziz and Sheikh have argued that they cannot be disqualified from staying in the parliament maintaining that Article 63 (1) (c) is not applicable in their respective cases.  Article 63 (1) (c) states, “A person shall be disqualified from being elected or chosen as, and from being, a member of the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament), if: he ceases to be a citizen of Pakistan, or acquires the citizenship of a foreign state.”

The ECP has referred their cases to the Supreme Court, to be incorporated in dual nationality cases being heard by the court.

Moreover, on October 10 this year, Asif Ezdi, a retired Ambassador had moved a reference to Speaker Punjab Assembly Rana Iqbal for the disqualification of 43 MPAs alleged to be dual nationals. In the light of Article 63 (2), the speaker PA was to forward the matter to the ECP within 30 days for taking necessary action. The speaker did not forward the reference to the electoral body within the prescribed time period, following which, the reference landed in the election commission. The commission incorporated it with the cases of those lawmakers who were required to submit nationality affidavits not later than November 30. The matters looks to have stood resolved as all the Punjab Assembly legislators have reportedly filed the required declarations.

Article 63 (2) reads, “ If any question arises whether a member of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) has become disqualified from being a member, the speaker or, as the case may be, the chairman shall, unless he decides that no such question has arisen, refer the question to the election commission within thirty days and should he fail to do so within the aforesaid period it shall be deemed to have been referred to the election commission.”

On September 20, 2012, the SC convicted 12 legislators for having dual nationality and disqualified all of them except Senator Rehman Malik. The ECP de-notified the parliamentary membership of these 11 lawmakers in pursuance of the SC order.

The Apex Court later reinstated Waseem Qadir, MPA Punjab Assembly. Another MPA from Punjab Amna Buttar has filed review petition against her disqualification.   The other ten legislators are Chaudhry Zahid Iqbal MNA, Farahnaz Isfahani MNA, Farhat Muhammad Khan MNA, M Jamil Malik MNA, M Akhlaq MNA, Dr Muhammad Ashraf Chohan MPA, Nadeem Khadim MPA, Nadia Gabol MPA and Dr Ahmed Ali Shah MPA. On October 1, the ECP asked the parliamentarians to submit in a week the declarations on oath regarding their nationality status. On October 9, the commission extended the date till the month-end, only to grant further extension till November 9. On the expiry of this deadline, the electoral body again extended the deadline till November 30 for the fourth consecutive time on November 12.