ISLAMABAD: The Minister of Water Resources, Faisal Vawda, was given more time by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday to comment on a case where his eligibility as a MP was questioned after changing his lawyer.
Judge Aamer Farooq held a hearing on a petition by Barrister Jahangir Jadoon against Vawda. The petition says the federal minister hid his dual nationality in nomination papers he submitted to the Pakistani Electoral Commission (ECP) ahead of the 2018 parliamentary elections and is calling for him to be disqualified as a legislator.
In the course of Thursday's trial, new attorney Haroon Duggal filed a power of attorney on behalf of Vawda, asking the court to give more time to file comments.
Judge Farooq informed Duggal that the first arguments on the case had been settled, adding that the petitioner's case was that "the federal minister was an American citizen at the time of submitting his nomination papers to the Pakistani Electoral Commission."
The court asked the lawyer to investigate the case as he was only referring to data, adding that the court had requested the file from the ECP. The attorney asked the court to instruct the ECP to pass these documents on to the defense. To this end, the court found that the nomination papers and the affidavit were submitted by his client himself.
Petitioner Jahagir Jadoon's attorney contested, saying the court had already given the defense "maximum time" to file comments, adding that "delaying tactics" were being used to waste the court's time.
The defense attorney replied that he would have to travel from Lahore to appear on the case. To do this, the bank found that the shuttle service only took 3:30 hours. The lawyer said he should also hold a meeting with his Karachi-based client.
The court noted that it was a quo warranto case that attempted to depose someone. If Vawda was not an American citizen when he submitted his nomination papers, there is no problem, Justice Farooq said. The court then adjourned the hearing on the case until December 15. – News desk