ISLAMABAD - The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will hear the dual nationality case against Federal Minister Faisal Vawda today (Thursday).

The ECP, in its last hearing, had directed the federal minister to submit a written reply to the commission in petitions seeking his disqualification as his lawyer had questioned the jurisdictions of ECP regarding hearing the petition.

Questioning the jurisdiction of the commission in the case, lawyer of the minister in previous hearing had argued that under Article 225, the election-related issues can be raised through an election petition and the petition should have gone to election tribunal. The lawyer further said that reference against Faisal Vawda should have been sent to Speaker of the National Assembly as he was the custodian of the house. It is pertinent to mention here that petitioners, Advocate Qadir Khan Mandokhel and others had filed a petition against Vawda seeking his disqualification over concealing dual citizenship.

Vawda had won the 2018 general election from Karachi’s NA-249 constituency. According to reports, Vawda may have committed perjury by falsely declaring in an oath to the ECP that he did not hold any foreign nationality.

It was reported that Vawda had a US passport at the time he filed his nomination papers on June 11, 2018. The minister remained an American national even at the time the scrutiny of his nomination papers was completed.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan in a past judgment had categorically ruled that candidates who held dual nationality were supposed to submit a renunciation certificate of the foreign nationality along with their nomination papers.

Meanwhile, many legal experts believe that if the minister had concealed his dual nationality then he would face disqualification for his act as according to constitution it was a national crime.

According to Kanwar Dilshad, former secretary ECP, the Supreme Court clearly has ruled that the dual national candidates should submit their nomination papers along with a renunciation certificate.

It must be noted that on same matter in past many lawmakers including PML-N’s Sadia Abbasi and Haroon Akhtar were disqualified.