PM aides cannot be disqualified on dual citizenship: Islamabad High Court

Aizbah KhanWeb Editor

30th Jul, 2020. 06:56 pm
PM aides cannot be disqualified on dual citizenship: Islamabad High Court

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has rejected a petition seeking removal of special assistants to the Prime Minister who have dual citizenship.

Chief Justice of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) Athar Minallah has issued a written decision rejecting a petition seeking suspension and dismissal of the Prime Minister’s aides with dual citizenship.

The decision said that the request to remove the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister due to dual citizenship is rejected. The Special Assistant to the Prime Minister cannot be disqualified on the ground of dual citizenship. A person with dual citizenship is also a Pakistani.

The decision said that the Prime Minister is accountable to the people, cannot run the state system alone, the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister cannot be doubted on dual citizenship, the appointment of Special Assistant is the prerogative of the Prime Minister and there is no restriction on numbers.

It may be recalled that Pakistan Munsif Party Chairman Malik Munsif had challenged the appointment of dual nationals as special assistants.

During the hearing, the Chief Justice remarked that Article 93 deals with advisers and not special assistants. Where is it written in the constitution that assistants cannot have dual citizenship?

Yesterday, on the same day, two special assistants to PM Imran Khan, Dr Zafar Mirza and Tania Aidrus, resigned.

First Special Assistant for Digital Pakistan Tania Aidrus resigned and shortly after, Special Assistant for Health Dr Zafar Mirza also resigned.

Tania Aidrus sent her resignation to Prime Minister Imran Khan stating that she resigned in the public interest. I came to Pakistan with a spirit of service but a lot was said about my Canadian citizenship.

“Criticism levied towards the state as a consequence of my citizenship status is clouding the purpose of Digital Pakistan. In the greater public interest, I have submitted my resignation from the SAPM role. I will continue to serve my country and the PM’s vision to my best ability” she said.

Dr. Zafar Mirza also submitted his resignation and said that he resigned due to constant criticism, he is happy that he resigned at a time when the number of cases has decreased.

It may be recalled that in the last few days, details of citizenship and assets of special assistants to the Prime Minister and advisers were released in which advisers with dual citizenship were severely criticized and Tania Aidrus was also facing criticism over dual citizenship.

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