ISLAMABAD - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has denied Raja Riaz Ahmed’s claim that he holds dual nationality, in his reply filed in the Supreme Court.

A three member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry will hear suo motu case today (Wednesday), taken on the reports of various newspapers regarding the statement of Raja Riaz Ahmed that Shahbaz Sharif holds dual nationality.

In the reply filed through Mustafa Ramday, Shahbaz said that he was a born national and a citizen of Pakistan and had never applied/sought for any other citizenship/nationality.

He said the allegations levelled by his rival were “malicious, false, frivolous, untrue and baseless”, and worthy of being rejected with exemplary costs. He also requested the apex court to declare that Opposition Leader in the Punjab Assembly Raja Riaz is neither honest nor ameen as enshrined in Article 62(1) (f) because he had lied publicly.

“Raja Riaz deserves to be fined with exemplary costs, which may be donated to some charitable institution, for having publicly lied, mislead the people and this court (and), therefore, he is liable to be declared dishonest, non-sagacious, non-righteous, profligate, neither Sadiq nor Amen,” he pleaded.

He also submitted a copy of the declaration on oath that he filed at the Election Commission of Pakistan. In his reply, the Punjab CM also stated that in 2002, when he was in forced exile, he was diagnosed with life threatening cancer for which doctors in Saudi Arabia had advised immediate medical treatment in the United States, however, he at that time was not having a valid Pakistani passport.

“The then regime led by a dictator had refused to renew/issue a valid travel document to him. Despite being offered the option of travelling on the passport of a foreign country, he did not opt for the said kind assistance despite facing a life threatening situation.”

The CM contended that he was eligible and duly qualified, being not hit or disqualified by inter-alia, the provisions of Article 63(1)(c) of the constitution, therefore notice to him regarding the matter should be discharged with exemplary costs to Raja Riaz.

Taking notice of the news reports, the court had issued notices to Shahbaz Sharif, Raja Riaz, and the editors of the newspapers concerned to appear in court in person for today’s hearing.