Faisal Vawda landed in deep trouble as IHC declared his affidavit false

 Faisal Vawda resigned from national assembly to avoid disqualification  


Faisal Vawda is lucky and unlucky at the same time. He is lucky that the short order of Islamabad High Court in his disqualification case came on the day when media and people in Pakistan were focused on the Senate elections. This decision did not get the attention of the media because IHC did not disqualify him. The reason was because he resigned from national assembly seat after casting his ballot in senate elections.

Justice Aamer Farooq of the IHC had on March 03 disposes of the petition challenging Vawda's election after the minister submitted his resignation from the National Assembly.

The IHC, in its detailed order, stated that, prima facie, the affidavit submitted by the PTI leader regarding his dual nationality at the time of his election to the National Assembly is “false”.

"Since the affidavits were tendered before the Election Commission of Pakistan, it is just and proper that the Election Commission of Pakistan probes into the matter of veracity of affidavit furnished by Faisal Vawda on 11.06.2018 and if same is found to be false to stipulate the effect thereof pursuant to observations made in PLD 2020 SC 591,” the order said.

The judgement noted that since the lawmaker has resigned as Member National Assembly, no writ of quo-warrant can be issued with respect to holding dual nationality.

“However, the matter of furnishing false affidavit is to be probed by the Election Commission of Pakistan and the Commission may pass appropriate orders with respect to the same,” it added.

The court also observed with “dismay that respondent No.1 lingered on the matter by not filing reply under one pretext or the other which delayed the adjudication of the matter”.

According to the IHC judgement, Faisal Vawda was not eligible to contest the general elections in 2018 as being a dual national. He spend more than two and a half years in the national assembly and federal cabinet without qualified to contest the elections. He lied and concealed facts before the Election Commission.  

He is lucky that the detailed judgement came on day when all the focus is on vote of confidence of Prime Minister Imran khan. But  he is unlucky because the Islamabad High Court has declared his affidavit about dual nationality false. This decision is really damaging for Faisal Vawda and PTI.  

He resigned to avoid his disqualification and to become a senator. But the detailed judgement in his disqualification case has laid bare the fact that he lied before the election commission when he submitted nomination papers to contest general election 2018.

He submitted before the Returning officer that he is not a dual national in an affidavit. But on that day he was still holding the American nationality. He willfully concealed this fact from the Election Commission.

If PTI believes in fair play, role of law and high moral ground in politics then it PTI leadership should take action against Faisal Vawda. He must be removed from the position of federal minister.     

PTI all the time talks about high moral ground in politics. If PTI failed to take action against him it will simply means that there is no moral high ground. PTI must follow the standards it set for others. Whatever Faisal Vawda did to avoid disqualification could not be declared ethical or fall under the high moral ground.

His conduct during the senate elections raised many eyebrows. He first cast his vote in the national assembly and then submitted his resignation before the IHC without submitting it in the national assembly. He was given senate ticket despite knowing the facts about his false affidavit. It is not about high moral ground or politics of principles.  It is all about power and always has been. The delusion of we are better/not corrupt should be no more!

Federal minister Faisal Vawda known as making hard hitting statements against opposition leaders has landed in serious trouble after the IHC declared his affidavit submitted before the ECP false. The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Saturday issued its detailed order in the disqualification case of Federal Minister Faisal Vawda.

According to media reports, Vawda was in possession of a United States passport at the time he filed his nomination papers on June 11, 2018. The minister remained an American national even when the scrutiny of his nomination papers was completed.

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

The same judgment had previously led to the disqualification of various lawmakers, among them being Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senators Saadia Abbasi and Haroon Akhtar.

 Faisal Vawda won the general elections from NA-249 constituency in Karachi defeating PML-N president and former Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. Faisal Vawda bagged 35,344 votes against 34,626 votes secured by Shahbaz Sharif. His lead was just 718 votes. The TLP candidate got 23,981 votes and came third. 

Now the fate of Faisal Vawda is in the hands of ECP. The ECP is already hearing a petition seeking his disqualification for concealing the facts and misdeclaration before the Returning officer. The Election Commission will decide the matter. 

                                                      Khalid Bhatti 

 


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