The Supreme Court on Monday issued notices to Prime Minister Imran Khan and other respondents on a petition challenging the appointment of Zulfi Bukhari — the prime minister’s special assistant on overseas Pakistanis.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar heard a petition challenging Bukhari’s appointment as the PM’s special assistant as he is a dual national. Prime Minister Imran Khan, Bukhari and the Cabinet Division were made respondents in the petition.

As the hearing went under way, the petitioner’s counsel, Zafar Iqbal, said, “There is no post such as a special assistant as per the law.”

The chief justice asked, “How does a special assistant’s post come under a federal or a state minister? You say that Bukhari is a dual national and cannot be a member of the Parliament and thus not hold a ministry either.”

“The post of special assistants has been created so those who cannot become ministers can be appointed as advisers,” Justice Nisar added.

The petitioner’s counsel then said, “Bukhari admitted before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) that is a dual national.”

To this, the top judge said, “As per the Constitution, a dual national cannot be made minister but the question is whether he cannot be appointed as special assistant either.”

Justice Nisar further told Bukahri’s counsel that he can approach the IHC first.

The bench then adjourned the hearing till November 16 (Friday) and issued notices to PM Imran and other respondents.

Friday’s hearing will be held at Supreme Court’s Lahore Registry.

Bukhari was appointed as a special assistant to the prime minister on overseas Pakistanis and human resource development in September.

The London-based businessman, who is a close friend of PM Imran, has the status of a minister of state.