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Pakistan SC suspends another MP from Parliament

July 03, 2012 16:09 IST

Pakistan's Supreme Court on Tuesday suspended Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Malik Jamil Awan's membership of Parliament for having dual nationality, taking the number of lawmakers against whom action has been taken on similar grounds to seven.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry took action against Awan in response to a petition seeking the disqualification of lawmakers with dual nationality.

Awan is a member of the National Assembly or lower house of Parliament.

The Supreme Court has so far taken action against lawmakers of the ruling Pakistan People's Party. It acted against Awan after some legal experts claimed it had so far not suspended PML-N lawmakers.

At a recent hearing of the case, Awan had himself acknowledged that he held Dutch nationality.

The apex court has pointed out that the Constitution does not permit persons with dual nationality to become members of the provincial and national assemblies.

Reports have said the government is planning to introduce legislation to allow persons with dual nationality to serve as lawmakers.

Last month, the Supreme Court suspended the membership of Parliament of three PPP politicians -- Rehman Malik, Farahnaz Ispahani and Zahid Iqbal.

The Supreme Court also suspended the membership of three lawmakers of the provincial assemblies of Sindh and Punjab. At the time, Malik was the interior minister.

Following the action by the apex court, he was appointed a special advisor to the premier on interior affairs so that he could continue heading the interior ministry.

Malik has so far failed to produce documents to prove that he has renounced his British citizenship.

During Tuesday's hearing, the apex court adjourned the case till Wednesday and indicated it would complete the hearing the same day

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