LAHORE : The Lahore High Court has issued a notice to the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf led-government in a case filed against the appointment of 16 special assistants and advisers in the federal cabinet. On Monday, the court asked the government to explain its procedure of appointing the prime minister’s advisers and assistants who have been criticised by the opposition after the cabinet division published details of their assets and citizenship. These include Zulfi Bukhari (British citizenship), Shahzad Syed Qasim (US citizenship), Nadeem Afzal Gondal (Canadian citizenship), Shahbaz Gill (US green card), Tania Aidrus (Canadian citizenship and permanent resident of Singapore), Nadeem Babar (US citizenship) and Moeed Yusuf (US resident). The court has ordered them to submit a list of services they have done for the country and assets they own. Petitioner Nadeem Sarwar told Chief Justice Qasim Khan that the government has appointed unelected persons in its cabinet despite the Constitution forbidding it. On July 30, Special Assistant to the PM on Digital Pakistan Aidrus resigned. In her tweet, Aidrus said she was resigning because “the recent discourse in the public sphere about her Canadian nationality will bar her from executing on the long term vision for a Digital Pakistan”. She is a former Google executive and has Canadian nationality with a Singaporean residency. Earlier, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had released a written order that stated there was no restriction of appointing persons having dual nationality as special assistants to the prime minister (SAPMs). The ruling was issued by the IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah while hearing a plea filed against the appointment of SAPMs and sought their disqualification for having dual nationality.
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