ISLAMABAD - The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Wednesday disqualified Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Faisal Vawda as a lawmaker, stating that Vawda had resigned from the National Assembly seat to cover his crime.
In the last hearing on December 23, 2021, ECP had reserved the verdict on the petition filed by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) MNA Qadir Khan Mandokhail seeking the disqualification of Faisal Vawda. The verdict of the case was announced by a three member bench headed by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja.
While announcing the verdict, the bench said that Faisal Vawda had resigned from seat of National Assembly to cover up his earlier crime. The Commission also directed Faisal Vawda to return all the financial benefits and perks he had been enjoying as a Senator within two months.
The short order announced by the ECP bench also declared Faisal Vawda’s vote as MNA in Senate election as invalid. The Commission in the written order said that the declaration submitted by Faisal Vawda with nomination papers was false.
It must be noted that Faisal Vawda had resigned as a member of National Assembly in March 2021 and was elected senator on PTI’s ticket.
While commenting on the case, former Secretary ECP Kanwar Dilshad said that there were fever chances for the PTI leader to save himself from disqualification. He said that ECP while fulfilling its legal and constitutional responsibilities has announced the verdict on merit.
Criticising Faisal Vawda, Kanwar Dilshad said that he had taken the case very light, saying that during the trial, despite several warnings and notices of ECP, Faisal Vawda had been skipping the hearing many times.
Kanwar Dilshad stated that Faisal Vawda had the right to file petition in the Apex Court to review the decision announced by ECP last day.
He said that Faisal Vawda was disqualified for lifetime under the Article 62(1)(f) as Supreme Court in past has already ruled that disqualification under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution translates into a lifetime ban to contest any election.
Meanwhile, senior lawyer Supreme Court, Sardar Shoaib advocate told The Nation that Faisal Vawda may not likely to get relief from Supreme Court of Islamabad High Court.
He said that Supreme Court of Pakistan in past has vividly ruled out that the lection candidates who hold dual nationality are required to submit renunciation of their dual nationality along with the nomination papers.
He said that apparently Faisal Vawda had failed to follow the procedure of submission of nomination papers to Returning Officer.
Following report about the dual nationality of Faisal Vawda, a petition was filed in the Islamabad High Court seeking his disqualification. The court had directed the PTI leader to respond to the petition.
Due to his failure to respond to the petition, the IHC held him responsible for submitting a false affidavit regarding his nationality and directed the ECP to proceed against him under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution that deals with disqualification.
While talking to media after the judgement, the main petitioner and PPP’s leader Qadir Khan Mandokhel said that finally justice was delivered. He thanked his party for pursing the case and guiding him throughout the trial.
Qadir Khan Mandokhel hailed the decision of ECP and said that it was a good precedent set by the Commission. In an informal chat with reporters, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid said that ECP’s decision was a shock for them, saying that Faisal Vawda will take the case into Supreme Court to get justice.