PTI’s Faisal Vawda resigns from NA seat after casting vote

F.P. Report     

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Water Resources Muhammad Faisal Vawda has resigned from his seat from the National Assembly.

Vawda’s lawyer Jahangir Jadoon on Wednesday informed the Islamabad High Court (IHC), which was hearing the disqualification case against the federal minister, that his client had tendered resignation from his National Assembly seat.

A copy of the resignation was presented to the court. When asked, Vawda’s counsel said he did not know whether his client forwarded his resignation before casting a vote in the Senate elections or after.

The counsel urged the court that after the resignation the disqualification case against Faisal Vawda has become ineffective. Earlier, Faisal Vawda was among the first MNAs to cast vote in Senate elections voting for which was held at the National Assembly.

On the last hearing of the case, IHC single bench presided by Justice Aamer Farooq had termed Vawda’s attitude towards the case as non-serious and suggested sending the copy of the notice to the federal cabinet. The counsel told the court that the minister had not submitted his reply yet despite 16 hearings of the case. 

Expressing his annoyance over the non-submission of the reply by Vawda, the IHC judge remarked that he did not understand how to get a reply in this case. He said that a copy of the notice be sent to the federal cabinet as now the answer may come from there. 

The IHC bench further said that if Faisal Vawda did not want to give an answer, let us know, then the court would decide on the record of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). 

In his petition, Mian Faisal Advocate stated that Vawda had contested the elections from NA-249 (West-II) Karachi in July 2018 on a PTI ticket.

However, he was a dual national at the time of filing of his nomination papers, concealing his American nationality by falsely declaring on oath before the ECP that “he did not have any foreign nationality.” 

The petitioner, while mentioning documents of Vawda rescinding US nationality, pointed out that the minister was a US citizen at the time of submitting his nomination papers on June 11, 2018, and even during the scrutiny of his nomination papers while the returning officer of his electoral constituency approved his papers on June 18. 

The petition maintained, “It was only after this approval that respondent No 1 (Vawda) applied for renunciation of his US nationality at the US Consulate, Karachi, on June 22.” It added that the US Consulate issued the renunciation certificate to Vawda on June 25. 

Moreover, the petition stated that Vawda had on June 11, 2018 also submitted an affidavit claiming that he was not a dual national whereas till that time, his foreign nationality was intact. 

It mentioned, “It is held in the judgement [of Supreme Court] that if anybody files a false affidavit, it will be considered he is filing the affidavit before the Supreme Court of Pakistan.”

It continued that the Supreme Court has in one of its judgements categorically directed that candidates who previously held dual nationalities should have renunciation certificates at the time of filing of nomination papers. 

Meanwhile, the Election Commission of Pakistan a week ago imposed a fine of Rs50,000 on Federal Minister Faisal Vawda on seeking adjournments again and again in the disqualification case, directing him to appear in-person on the next hearing.

The ECP was hearing the petition seeking the federal minister’s disqualification due to his dual nationality.

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja, who was presiding over the proceedings, said the case had already been delayed and reprimanded the counsel representing Vawda.