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citizenship of another country does not disqualify someone from becoming a judge: IHC

ISLAMABAD: Possessing citizenship or residency of another country does not disqualify someone from becoming a judge under the Constitution of Pakistan, the Islamabad High Court registrar stated on Thursday in response to a letter from Senator Faisal Vawda.

The registrar clarified that no information regarding dual citizenship is requested during the process of becoming a judge. This point was emphasized by Supreme Court judge Justice Athar Minallah during suo motu proceedings on judicial interference. The issue of Justice Sattar holding a Green Card was also addressed during the hearing.

The Supreme Judicial Council approved Justice Sattar’s appointment, and it was noted that the high court does not maintain records of discussions held in the Judicial Commission.

The high court’s press release added that Justice Sattar had informed the then-chief justice at the time of his Green Card status.

In April, the IHC clarified that Justice Sattar does not hold dual nationality, amidst a ‘malicious’ social media campaign against him following a letter to the Supreme Judicial Council.

“Justice Babar Sattar has never had any nationality other than that of Pakistan,” stated a press release from the Islamabad High Court.

The statement responded to a social media campaign which the high court described as “false, malicious, and contemptuous.” The campaign involved the posting and reposting of confidential information, including travel documents of the judge, his wife, and children, along with “untruthful” allegations and details of his properties from his tax returns.

The campaign began after a letter from six IHC judges, including Justice Sattar, to the five members of the Supreme Judicial Council, demanding a judicial convention over alleged intelligence agencies’ interference in the judiciary.

Earlier this week, Justice Sattar again highlighted alleged interference by the security establishment in the judicial process. In a letter to IHC Chief Justice Aamer Farooq, Justice Sattar claimed he was asked to back off from the audio leaks case.

The case concerns petitions filed last year by former premier Imran Khan’s spouse, Bushra Bibi, and Najam Saqib, son of former chief justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar, regarding alleged audio leaks.

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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