Islamabad: The Supreme Court has suspended the membership of three lawmakers of provincial assemblies for possessing dual nationality days after it took similar action against senior Pakistan People's Party leaders Rehman Malik and Farahnaz Ispahani.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, which is hearing a petition seeking the disqualification of lawmakers with dual nationality on Wednesday suspended the membership of legislators Amna Buttar and Muhammad Akhlaq, both members of the Punjab Assembly, and Ahmed Ali Shah, a member of the Sindh Assembly.

"Prima facie we are satisfied that they are not qualified to hold the membership of provincial assemblies. Therefore their status as member of provincial assemblies of Punjab and Sindh is hereby suspended," the apex court said in an order.

On June 4, the Supreme Court suspended Rehman Malik's membership of the Senate or upper house of parliament on the ground that he had failed to provide proof of renouncing his British citizenship.

At the time, Malik was the Interior Minister. Following the action by the court, he was appointed an advisor to the premier on interior affairs so that he could continue heading the Interior Ministry.

The apex court has asked Malik to prove that he was not a British citizen when he contested polls to the Senate in 2009.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had suspended the membership of parliament of Farahnaz Ispahani, the media advisor to President Asif Ali Zardari, for holding US citizenship.

However, the apex court yesterday had to drop proceedings against several members of parliament and provincial assemblies since no evidence could be produced against them.

These lawmakers include PML-N leader Khwaja Asif, Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Sheikh and Deputy Chairman of the Senate Sabir Ali Baloch.

The lawmakers took serious exception to allegations levelled against them by lawyer Waheed Anjum, who had filed an application in the apex court.

Anjum apologised on five occasions during yesterday's proceedings.


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