ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Tuesday suspended the membership of another parliamentarian, this time belonging to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, for holding dual nationality of Holland.

Malik Jamil Awan was elected as an MNA from NA-107, Gujrat constituency on PML-N ticket.

The court had already suspended the membership of Farahnaz Ispahani, MNA, spouse of Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s former ambassador to the United States and Rehman Malik, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Interior, PPP’s MNA Zahid Iqbal, Muhammad Ikhlaq and Amna Butter, MPAs of the Punjab Assembly, and Dr Ahmed Ali, MPA, Sindh Assembly for holding dual nationalities.

During the proceedings, the chief justice said if the process of dual nationality of parliamentarians would not be dealt with properly in future country’s prime minister would be an American businessman. The court observed that in past such people had been taking over as premier who on completion of their term left the country with their briefcases.

Anwar Mansoor, counsel for Rehman Malik, said Shaukat Aziz and Moen Qureshi were the two prime ministers of Pakistan, who had dual nationality. Justice Khawaja said their cases were not before the court. But if you file petitions against them the court could issue notices to them as well. The chief justice remarked that the Supreme Court judges did not have personal enmity with anyone. “They hear those cases, which are filed in the apex court,” he remarked.

The court observed that if dual nationals would become the prime minister of the country then one could imagine what would be the fate of Pakistan. The chief justice said there was a debate in media to amend the article related to dual nationality and Waseem Sajjad, counsel for Farahnaz also requested the court that the word ‘or’ in Article 63(1)(c) should be read as ‘and’. The chief justice said legislation is the job of parliament, therefore, they would not amend the constitution.

Mansoor further argued that the cases of parliamentarians’ disqualification should be sent to the proper forum (speaker/chairman) as the apex court had no jurisdiction. The chief justice said: “If the country’s prime minister and chief justice can be tried why not others?”

A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was hearing a petition seeking disqualification of parliamentarians holding dual nationality.

One Mahmood Akhtar Naqvi had filed a petition in the court, seeking directions for the ECP to obtain the complete record of parliamentarians who held dual nationalities. He further pleaded that the court disqualify such parliamentarians and restrain them from contesting the next general elections.

Anwar Mansoor has completed his arguments. The case was adjourned till Wednesday.