THE suspension of Farahnaz Ispahani’s National Assembly membership by the Supreme Court on the basis of holding dual nationality is a welcome decision.
Any person who has willingly pledged loyalty to another state should never be allowed to hold any public office whether elected or otherwise. Massive flight of capital from Pakistan and elements involved in money laundering are few corrupt civil and uniformed bureaucrats or members of the elected ruling elite who hold dual nationality or immigration status.
It is such elements sitting in positions of authority and on board of directors in the State Bank, PIA, FIA, FBR, KPT and members of the parliament who have kept loopholes to facilitate flight of billions of dollars out of this country. On the other hand, a large majority of Pakistani expatriates repatriate their savings to families in Pakistan.
We live in a country where a sitting most powerful governor of a province and his immediate family were taking dole from social security in the UK, while he was holding this post and occupying governor’s mansion in Pakistan.
The fact that this serious crime constituting a conspiracy against a social welfare state was not pursued to its logical conclusion only proves that such individuals serve interests of these countries where otherwise such criminals never escape severe punishment.
Farahnaz is not the only individual who holds a dual nationality status nor can only she be held responsible for withholding this information from the Election Commission.
After all, FIA, intelligence, airlines and security agencies in post 9-11 era share information with other nation’s immigration on movement of citizens. Political parties, who knowingly give tickets to dual nationality holders, are also responsible.
There are over 169 members of the National Assembly, Senate, provincial assemblies and ministers belonging to all political parties who hold dual nationality, and they did not disclose this information to the Election Commission.
Individuals like Dr Shakil Afridi will continue to serve interests of other nations as long as Pakistan and its institutions allow dual- nationality holders, or those with immigration status entitling them to acquire foreign nationality, occupy sensitive jobs and posts, run NGOs, where decisions are made that can affect the fate of this country.
GULL ZAMAN Peshawar