The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has reserved the verdict on an application to declare former finance minister Ishaq Dar’s seat in the Senate vacant as he has failed to take oath as a member of the upper house of the Parliament.
During the hearing on Monday, Dar’s counsel Salman Aslam Butt appeared before the commission.
Member ECP from Balochistan said that there was an ordinance to declare the seat vacant if a member fails to take oath within 60 days of being elected. The ordinance does not apply to Dar, said Butt, arguing that he couldn’t have taken the oath immediately as the Supreme Court had suspended the notification declaring him the returning candidate.
Has Ishaq Dar been declared ineligible or not, asked member Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Dar’s lawyer said that under article 63-P, one can not be declared ineligible under a law brought by the ordinance.
The clause regarding the ineligibility of an elected member for not taking oath within 60 days has been removed after the amendment, Dar’s counsel informed the ECP.
He said that the ordinance issued by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf government was illegal in itself, he said.
Butt claimed that in 2018, the Supreme Court suspended the notification of Dar’s election as a Senator. The notification was restored once the application was rejected, he claimed.
Dar’s lawyer requested the commission take back the notification declaring Dar’s seat vacant.
Ishaq Dar, who is living in London in self-exile, is likely to return to the country this week after an accountability court suspended his perpetual arrest warrants.
He has been nominated as Miftah Ismail’s replacement by PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif. Miftah stepped down as the finance minister of Pakistan following an important meeting of the PML-N in London.