ISLAMABAD - The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is all set to hear the dual nationality case against Federal Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda on Monday (today).

A five-member bench headed by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja will hear the petition as ECP has directed the federal minister to appear before the commission in person or through lawyer.

Following the written order of Islamabad High Court, the commission had decided to fix the case for hearing once again. It is important to mention here that almost four petitions against the disqualification of Faisal Vawda were filed in ECP in a dual nationality case.

Meanwhile, sources in the ECP told The Nation that the ECP would certainly announce the verdict against the federal minister if he was found guilty of concealing his dual nationality at the time of submission of nomination papers for general elections 2018.

According to official in ECP the federal minister was having American passport number 530572047 at the time when he was submitting his nomination papers to the commission.

Meanwhile, talking to The Nation, former secretary ECP Kanwar Dilshad said that if the federal minister has lied to the Election Commission regarding his dual nationality (American), then it would lead to disqualification of the minister as it was a national crime.

He further said that along with submission of nomination papers there was an affidavit which was a kind of oath pertaining that the person who submitted the papers did not hold any other nationality. It must be noted that many lawmakers in the past have been disqualified by the apex court due to the issue of dual nationality; they included the sister of Shahid Haqqan Abbasi and PML-N leader Sadia Abbasi and Haroon Akhtar.

In October 2019, the Election Tribunal at the Sindh High Court had turned down Shehbaz Sharif’s petition against Federal Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda, The PML-N leader Shehbaz Sharif had also challenged validity of the election win of the Karachi-based Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader. The petition was dismissed by SHC judge Justice Yousaf Ali Sayeed.

Shehbaz Sharif had taken the stance that Faisal Vawda had rigged the elections and requested the tribunal to nullify the polls. It is worth mentioning here that Shehbaz Sharif had lost the elections by just over 600 votes. Faisal Vawda had bagged 35,344 votes while Shehbaz Sharif received 34,626 votes.