SC dismisses petition for Zulifqar Bukhari disqualification

SC dismisses petition for Zulifqar Bukhari disqualification

LAHORE: The Supreme Court (SC) dismissed a petition seeking disqualification of prime minister's Special Assistant on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari, (Zulfi Bukhari), for being dual national.

The three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar heard the petition filed by Muhammad Adil Chattha and others, at the Supreme Court Lahore Registry.
As proceedings commenced, the petitioners' counsel Zafar Iqbal Kalanuri questioned the appointment of Zulifqar Bukhari submitting that the Supreme Court's recent verdict on dual nationality holders also applies to Bukhari.

However, the chief justice observed that the court had not imposed any ban in the said case."We only gave recommendations to the parliament," he added.
At this stage, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, a member of the bench, also observed that the prime minister had right of appointment of special assistant and the instant matter did not fall under Article 62 and 63 of the Constitution.

To which, petitioners' counsel argued that Bukhari was working in the capacity of a minister, adding that he was attending cabinet meetings, entering into overseas agreements.
These acts are performed by ministers, he claimed. But, Bukhari's counsel Aitzaz Ahsan argued that his client had not claimed the status of a state minister.

At this, the chief justice told the petitioners' counsel that the court could not disqualify Bukhari on the petition and could only make suggestions to the parliament. However, he sought summary of Bukhari's appointment, adding that the prime minister had a right to appoint anyone but that did not mean he could do whatever he wanted.

Following a break, the bench resumed the hearing and dismissed the petition while restraining Bukhari from exercising functions a state minister or using the title.