Former finance minister Ishaq Dar informed Senate Chairperson Sadiq Sanjrani on Thursday that he was willing to take oath as senator but virtually, or through the Pakistani High Commissioner in London.
In his letter – a copy of which has also been sent to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) – Dar has stated that he would be unable to come to Pakistan in person for his oath-taking becasue of “prolonged illness and ongoing medical treatment within the United Kingdom”.
He instead suggested taking the oath virtually through video call, adding that the method was already under use by courts in the country.
The PML-N leader further wrote that if the oath could not be taken virtually then the Senate should arrange for it to be conducted by the Pakistani high commissioner to the UK or by an authorised person, as mentioned in Article 255 of the Constitution of Pakistan.
He stated that as per clause 2 of Article 255 of the Constitution in his letter, the Senate chairperson can appoint an authorised person to deliver the oath to an elected senator.
Furthermore, the PML-N leader maintained that the legal dispute arising out of challenging his election to the Senate on March 3, 2018, had been resolved as the Supreme Court rejected the civil appeal, due to which the apex court’s decision to suspend his membership expired.
The PML-N leader maintained that in light of the SC’s decision, the ECP on January 10 withdrew its notification suspending his victory on the Senate seat.
He said that he was ready to take oath as senator after all legal hurdles were removed.
Ishaq Dar clarified that the recent legal amendment made in 2021 regarding taking oath within a specified period of time as a member of parliament did not apply to his election to Senate, as it was held in March 3, 2018.
Along with the letter, Dar also attached a copy of his latest medical report.
On May 8, 2018, a three-judge bench led by former chief justice Mian Saqib Nisar had suspended PML-N’ leader’s Senate membership over his failure to appear in court despite repeated summons.
Dar was elected as a senator on a technocrat seat from Punjab in 2018, but he didn’t take his oath owing to his stay in London on health grounds.
Last month, the ECP, while following a ruling of the Supreme Court, on Monday restored the Senate membership of former finance minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Ishaq Dar.
According to an ECP statement, the commission took back its notification about the suspension of the membership of Dar on Supreme Court’s December 21, 2021, order in which the apex court dismissed a plea against him, thus vacating its May 9, 2018 stay against the issuance of notification in favour of the former finance minister by the ECP.