NISAR MEHDI and IMRAN MUKHTAR

KARACHI/ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister’s Senior Adviser on Interior Rehman Malik on Tuesday announced that he had tendered resignation from the Senate membership.

Talking to the journalists at the Karachi airport, Rehman said media could verify the move from the Senate chairman.

“I resigned from the Senate because people are linking the amendment bill on dual nationality with me, saying the government tabled the legislation just to benefit me,” he added.

Rehman further said, “I have given up my senate membership and will now openly campaign for this bill for the sake of 1.2 million fellow overseas Pakistanis,” as he also thanked MQM chief Altaf Hussain for his party’s support to the bill.

Rehman said he had informed the party leadership about the resignation and ready to perform any assigned duty, adding that he would act according to the leadership’s advice in future.

He further said that he also wanted to resign from the slot of adviser on interior, but Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf had advised him to continue the work. He also showed the documents to reporters pertaining to his renounced British citizenship and said he would not acquire citizenship of a foreign country in the future. Rehman Malik told that he had applied to surrender his British citizenship in 2008 and also left his business on President Asif Ali Zardari’s advice. He urged the Hussain Nawaz and others to inform the nation about their nationalities.

“I assure you that I don’t have any directorship, I have resigned from everything and left all the things on the advice of President Zardari,” Malik said.

“I am Pakistani citizen and I requested my family that if I die, I should be buried in Pakistan,” he further added.

On the other hand, an insider in the PPP circles insisted that Rehman Malik’s announcement to quit Senate membership comes as a smart move to save his skin from possible disqualification for keeping dual nationality and lying to relinquish his foreign nationality, thus violating the Constitution of Pakistan.

After enjoying the luxuries in the corridors of power for over four-and-a-half good years, Rehman is out to say good-bye to the Senate but it appears too late to do so. That he would manage to hoodwink the apex court and get away with hay seemed hardly to happen. But his luxuries are no more over as he would continue as the senior adviser to PM on interior.

Sources privy to the development said that the federal government as well as Rehman Malik had manoeuvred the situation and given it a political colour because it was being feared that he might face disqualification due to holding dual nationality at the time of his election as member of the Senate.

The Supreme Court has already suspended his Senate membership while hearing a number of petitions regarding dual nationalities of many members of the Parliament.

Rehman so far has failed to produce any solid evidence before the court to prove that he revoked his British dual nationality. However, he had submitted a written statement before the apex court through his counsel that he had revoked his UK nationality in 2008 before his election as member of the Senate. The court had asked the counsel to submit a certified copy of RN (Renunciation of Nationality) form and a receipt of the fees necessary to pay to the British Home Office for renunciation of UK nationality.

The troubles of Rehman started when his name came in the media reports that he had revoked his British nationality in the last week of May 2011 and not in 2008.Rehman insisted before the court time and again that he had renounced his UK nationality without submitting any documents before it mentioning exact date and year of renunciation of his British nationality.

The legal experts are of the view that Rehman Malik would stand disqualified if proved that he was holding dual nationality at the time of his election as Senate. And this is being described as the main reason for his reluctance to submit proper evidence before the apex court. Some legal experts also say that Rehman might face charges of perjury for submitting wrong statement before the court.

A text message was sent to Senior Advisor to PM on Interior on his two cell phones to have his point of view, but he did not respond till the filing of this story.