IHC dismiss petition for removal PM’s special assistants having dual nationality.

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ISLAMABAD, July 30: Islamabad High Court disposed off a petition seeking removal of all of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s special assistants having dual nationalities.

In the case pertaining to dual citizenship of advisors and special assistants to the prime minister, the Islamabad High Court remarked in a written judgement that the premier was accountable to the people and could not run the state affairs alone.

Neither the special assistants to the prime minister nor their patriotism could be doubted based on the fact that they held dual citizenship, the court ruled, and, thus, could not be disqualified either.

Their appointments were the premier’s prerogative, it said, adding further that there was no restriction on the number of SAPMs the PM could appoint. The court emphasised that doubts could not be cast on any person holding dual nationalities.

The decision penned by Chief Justice Athar Minallah had been reserved earlier on Thursday after the court heard the arguments in the case.

It had emerged last week that at least 19 non-elected cabinet members and seven special assistants to the prime minister held dual nationalities. These included Shahbaz Gill (US), Nadeem Babar (US), Syed Zulfiqar ‘Zulfi’ Abbas Bukhari (UK), Moeed Yousuf (US), Shahzad Qasim (US), Nadeem Afzal Gondal (Canada), and Tania S Aidrus (Canada and Singapore), the SAPMs on Political Affairs, Petroleum, Overseas Pakistanis, National Security, Power Division, Parliamentary Coordination, and Digital Pakistan, respectively.

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