The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has reiterated its stance that anyone holding dual nationality is not eligible to head a political party since the Political Parties Act 2002 imposes the same conditions on a party head as for candidates for legislative assemblies. At a hearing on Monday at the ECP office, Engineer Jalil Malik challenged the agreement signed between the government and Dr Tahirul Qadri pleading that entire exercise was in violation of the clear provisions of the constitution. The constitution under Article 63 (1) states one who possesses dual nationality is disqualified to contest election for membership of Senate, National and Provincial Assemblies. It is another issue that these provisions were not adhered to in the past successive elections in letter and in spirit. Even the existing legislative assemblies have a large number of dual nationals despite clear verdict of the Supreme Court rendering them ineligible.

The same is the case with those holding fake degrees. The ECP is firm in compelling them to get their degrees authenticated by the Higher Education Commission. The ECP will come under mounting pressure in the coming days on this count. The Chief Election Commissioner, who has announced on more than one occasion that he would strictly go by the book, must resist the pressure to ensure fair polls without which the common man’s interest would stand jeopardized.