Dual nationality bill presented in Senate

Published Jul 10, 2012 09:51am

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A view of the Senate in Islamabad. — File photo

ISLAMABAD: The 22nd amendment bill was presented in the Senate on Tuesday. The bill recommended abolishing  restrictions on dual nationals from contesting the elections, DawnNews reported.

One of the coalition partners in the government, the Awami National Party (ANP), has decided to oppose the bill.

Senator Raza Rabbani and prominent lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan have also reportedly shown reservations on the bill.

During Tuesday's session, federal law minister Farroq H. Naek presented the 22nd amendment bill in the Senate.

According to the bill, dual national Pakistanis of 16 countries would be allowed to assume public offices.

The law minister said that Pakistan had agreements with 16 countries over dual nationality.

The countries include Syria, Canada, Australia, Jordan, the Netherlands, Germany, United States, France, Britain and Iceland.

He said that Article 63(1)(c) of the Constitution was unfair to Pakistanis residing in foreign countries.

Haji Adeel of the ANP questioned: “Why the 22nd amendment is being tabled before the 21st?” He said that his party would oppose these changes to the Constitution.

Naek said that the 21st amendment bill had been presented in the National assembly and that it was related to increment in the judges' pensions.

The bill has been submitted before the pertinent standing committee, the law minister said.

“The floor will open for debate,” Naek said, adding that “if anyone has reservations over it, they can suggest amendments in the bill”.

The PPP-led coalition government came up with the proposed bill in order to make lawmakers having dual nationality retain their parliament memberships as well as remain eligible to contest in the general elections as the Supreme Court disqualified some legislators including former minister Rehman Malik.


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Comments (50) Closed




Zameer
Jul 11, 2012 02:51am
Well said Rashid!
concerned pakistani
Jul 10, 2012 09:56pm
how can you say all governments and refer to indian government. you in the UK have dual citizens holding public office. Canada has cabinet ministers from india and dual nationals.
Amir
Jul 11, 2012 03:22am
Those pakistani who have money and power are scared of the dual nationality holders. They see them challenge to their dominance and Biraderi based politics.
ann
Jul 11, 2012 02:58am
I hope most of you already know that, when any foreign citizen in USA, UK, Canada ...... apply for citizenship that person needs to take an oath that he/she will b loyal to that country and he/she will fight for the interest of the country while getting the citizenship , so how could b person b loyal with pakistan after taking such oath..... think about it...
Harry
Jul 11, 2012 03:18am
I am a Pakistani Canadian dual citizen. Under great laws of this country I am allowed to vote for a Canadian government. I am allowed to work in the government. I am also allowed to run for office. I am allowed to buy any land available for sale in Canada. Canadian law does not discriminate people on where they were born or how they look like. Even with these laws nothing bad has ever happened to the country. As long as a person's heart is in the right place it does not matter where are they born or if they are dual or not.
mateen haider
Jul 11, 2012 03:19am
O Shame! Where is thy blush?
Sajn
Jul 10, 2012 02:47pm
How does one have dual-nationality in America? My understanding was that if you wanted to become a Naturalised US citizen then you had to remounce your previous citizenship?
Amir
Jul 10, 2012 11:40am
I guess this issue is being dealt emotionally . If a dual citizen of Pakistani Origin can be member of parilament why not a dual citizen of Pakistan origin cannot be member of parliament. If new country trust you but not the one where you were born. It is also a myth that dual citizemship holders will plundered the national wealth and will escape. The reality in other way around, most of the people 99% who plundered our nation wealth are not dual citizen but they can manage to stay in other countries when its not right time for them to be in pakistan. you name any politicians and on top of that our so called feudals are more loyal to their bosses in west while dual citizen staying in other countries love Pakistan more than those who claimed to leader. We need to improve our accountability system is such a way that no one could steal money it does not matter who is in power. Don't foreget these dual nationality holders and other expatriate workers are keeping this country afloat by sendng billions of dollars of their hard earned Money
Humayun Akhtar
Jul 11, 2012 12:58am
Dual nationality bill !!!!!!! Are we not bent upon creating issues afresh when we already have plenty around awaiting resolution. The number of Pakistanis holding duel nationality is small. There are no reliable figures available but I suspect it is no more than 500,000. In the UK over 95% persons of Pakistani origin (from appx.1 M) holding duel nationality are from AK. In the Europe their number is no more than 50,000. Out of these the 2nd and 3rd generation has no wish to come to Pakistan permanently given its geo, socio and political situation lased with religious strife. Further 99.9% Pakistanis working in the Middle East hold PK nationality. If at all this issue is so burning and important needing immediate attention then why not to establish a commission with properly drawn out terms of reference and asking for its recommendations for consideration in a more rational manner. But then it is a sensible approach and we as Pakistanis are not accustomed to it. For there is no sanity left . Rememer any law made to protect the interets of a minority is a bad law Humayun Akhtar London
Malik Arshed Javed
Jul 10, 2012 01:01pm
Pakistan has population of 180 million people along with that we have school colleges and universities to educate our people. There is no shortage of Pakistanis with only Pak nationality to run this nation. You cannot be a civil servant or even an employee of the UK Government if you are not born in the UK and you reside in the UK. Jinnah fought for Pakistan to have freedom from British Raj. What he may be thinking now? As I understand there is no fixed percentage of national assembly or senate seats for dual nationals so at some point Pakistan could be solely run by foreign dual national’s syndicates. It is called “Law of Unintended Consequence” Wait and see?
Nick
Jul 11, 2012 12:50am
Well that would be Better than what we have now. May be Educated Pakistani living over sea would like to help the country as they don't need Steal from the Pakistani People and the People Politician do These days.
Kris Ramani
Jul 10, 2012 02:46pm
Amit; But you can vote in Canada and take any office except Prime Minister. So what is this fuss about. In your case you do not have DUAL NATIONALITY. You are Canadian Citizen but NRI with few priviledges.
ann
Jul 11, 2012 02:01am
I hope most of you already know that, when any foreign citizen in USA, UK, Canada ...... apply for citizenship that person needs to take an oath that he/she will b loyal to that country and he/she will fight for the interest of the country while getting the citizenship , so how could b person b loyal with pakistan after taking such oath..... think about it...
Azam Khan
Jul 10, 2012 04:31pm
I understand that the article 63(1) c of the constitution is very unfair to the dual nationals and it needs to be amended. when Pakistan government gave permission to have dual nationality this article should have been amended there and then. it is inconsistent with the agreement of foreign 16 countries to have dual nationality as it worked out to lower class Pakistani citizenship to dual nationals. As long as a Pakistani national has not surrendered his Pakistani nationality how his nationality become lower class citizenship as compare to other Pakistanis and how his loyalty to the country to be doubted without any evidence.why he could be treated differently. please note dual nationality was taken mostly by overseas Pakistanis for the convenience of travelling and residence purposes but their loyalty were remained always above board except in rare cases. but i would say more loyal to Pakistan than any body else. if dual nationals in Pakistan would be treated as such then what is the fun to keep the Pakistani citizenship. you love to receive overseas foreign remittance which is more that 25% of your national budget , you love to have their votes but you do not want their representation at all. what kind of Hippocrates you are
Mob
Jul 10, 2012 11:25am
How ridiclous, one day Raymond Davis would get Pak nationality and become minister...shame on people floating dual nationality bill.
danish
Jul 10, 2012 10:51am
I think all 180million Pakistani should get the other Nationality so every one will enjoy the foreign benefits like Our beloved leaders are enjoying on foreign soil.
Hassan
Jul 10, 2012 04:07pm
Mr. Khan, No one is saying that all ordinary dual citizens are like that. What people are alluding to is simply the politicians holding dual nationality is an issue. It is simple, you want to be an elected official of a country, you should not have vested interests in other countries.
Hassan
Jul 10, 2012 04:11pm
This is a ridiculous argument to begin with. All we are discussing here is politicians holding dual nationality. Why are you dragging ordinary Pakistanis here. People who don;t have dual nationality and they live abroad, they are considered illegals, okay? Those people have love and interest for Pakistan that they don;t give Pakistani citizenship even after becoming a national of another country. so no need to to drag an average Pakistani who is living abroad and trying to have a better life. Question is why do people keep electing politicians who have no interest in Pakistan.
Qureshi
Jul 10, 2012 01:09pm
There are over 5 million Pakistanis or ethnic Pakistanis (with at least one Pakistani parent) living abroad, and most of them are highly educated with lots of money to spend. Several of them went to the best schools in Pakistan and overseas, and are now well settled in other countries. This bill will give them a ray of hope to come back some day and serve their country. People must understand that citizenship and residency are two separate terminologies. One can be a citizen of a foreign land, but if he/she is not a resident many rules do now apply. Pakistan should allow foreign citizens to run for public office as long as they have met the residency requirements of the country. If we look back ZAB's second wife Nusrat Bhutto was an Iranian citizen, she held public office. Moen Qureshi & Shaukat Aziz both had foreign citizenships but became PMs of Pakistan.
Guest UK
Jul 10, 2012 10:13am
Here we go, Hope PPP supporters open up their eyes now. This Government is a disgrace. All developed countries are taking steps against holding of public office by dual nationals, in most cases, right to vote is being taken away, why do we always have to take the path opposite to wishes of nation.
Amit
Jul 10, 2012 10:30am
I am Indian born, Canadian Citizen. Recently India gave me Dual Citizenship. I am allowed to buy property in India. But I am Not Allowed to Vote, Not Allowed to have ant Govt. Job, and also Not Allowed to Buy Agriculture Land. This is the Perfect way. What if a WHITE Canadian Citizen gets a Pakistani Citizenship, Will he be allowed to be in Parliament ? Will the Govt share Secrets with Him? What is guarantee he will not give it to his original Country ? Think People....Think.
Abdullah K
Jul 10, 2012 01:06pm
Dual citizenship ? Bill is being tabled to bring back men like Rehman Malik as minister. It is the game AAZ & his cronies are playing for their personal interests, has nothing to do with the interest of Pakistan.They want their wealth secured in foreign banks but want to multiply it by controlling Pakistan. Their loyalty lies where their wealth is deposited. Interestingly, founder of PPP, ZAB in 1973 constitution put this clause barring dual national to hold any elected office in Pakistan. Same man whose name is evoked by PPP when it suits them.
Amit
Jul 10, 2012 10:33am
I am Indian born, Canadian Citizen. Recently India gave me Dual Citizenship. I am allowed to buy property in India. But I am Not Allowed to Vote, Not Allowed to have ant Govt. Job, and also Not Allowed to Buy Agriculture Land.
Ghost
Jul 10, 2012 10:36am
As usual this bill would be also passed due to PPP ghost supporters .No should except good from these politicians as they don't care country and nation but own selves.
Noor
Jul 10, 2012 10:34am
Get ready, one day Manmohan singh will get pak nationality and PM ship :(
Dr Bakht
Jul 10, 2012 10:46am
Subject to that dual nationality holder must be Pakistan resident for previous 5 year before applying for public post. Resident means at least 180 days in Pakistan in one calendar year. This shall attract best human resources from abroad otherwise we shall be at the mercy of local loyal(s) having least capacity to resolve issues which need global approach and world class efficiency. Dr Bakht Karachi
Guest UK
Jul 10, 2012 10:49am
For this Government saying goes "No brains and lots of gains"
khalid
Jul 10, 2012 10:50am
How many nails does a coffin have?
wasim
Jul 10, 2012 11:00am
if we had dual nationality agreement with UK then why every now and then we are reminded that we can not bring abc person to pakistan as he is british national and . if we had an agreement then we should be allowed to bring anyone from britian to pakistan and visa versa
Khan - USA
Jul 10, 2012 01:06pm
Those who are bad mouthing dual nationals should realize that they are backbone of Pakistan. They said billions of dollars back home, they give charities and they keep your tourism alive. And believe it or not they are the most honest and professional compare to the rest of lazy Pakistanis politicians/analysts/writers/reporters/army/judiciary/etc. If the have an interest for office, they should be allowed to do so because they will ask for vote in a legitimate manner, they cant put guns on people head and ask them for vote. Grow up fellow Pakistanis, please dont think that every dual national citizen is Rehman Malik/Hiqqani.
Rashid
Jul 10, 2012 11:07am
well Amit bro, you are talking about India where politicians still wear traditional cloths & come to office in their unique Indian made vehicles .....on this side of the Border its the opposite .....here they can't speak a single word of english but still they will wear a three piece suit as if they are working in NY or London stocks exchange..... I wish we could achieve that level of the Indians....
Zhuaib
Jul 10, 2012 01:18pm
Oh yes they send those dollars to poor Pakistanis.... no the major contribution is from those who are working abroad and do not have dual nationality- they support their family back in Pakistan and want to have their savings in their own country. whereas those having dual nationality mostly live abroad and seldom send any money to pakistan (they have better opportunity of spending and investing in their homeland of choice) fraction of them who come to Pakistan mainly come either to wield some political clout for themselves or to invest in property (thus raising property prices unreasonably). As for their contribution as professionals; they can do that even without having a right to vote or public office.
Maroof Alam Kashkoli
Jul 10, 2012 12:50pm
perfect..:)
Maroof Alam Kashkoli
Jul 10, 2012 12:48pm
you can't have German and Paki nationality at the same time. If Germany is among those 16 then somebody needs to apprise these politicians
Shah
Jul 10, 2012 02:26pm
I am a National of Pakistan and citizen of Canada. I will always be national of Pakistan and will never be National of Canada. Dual citizenship holders should be able to compete in election and hold offices execept the PM or President and sign a confict of interest disclaimer and or trade secret or proprietary statement in addition to oath, which is if not honored punishable by law.
pariot
Jul 10, 2012 12:35pm
pakistanis working abroad, remit 12 billion dollars a year to pakistan. without theses remittances pakistan would be_bankrupt in balance of payments..... many of these pakistanis have dual nationalities. no doubt about positive_contribution integrity, hardwork and loyalty of dual nationality pakistanis to pakistan the money flow is the_best proof. it is high time that pakistanis living abroad joined hands to be respected equally_ to non productive_local politics limited, pakistanis driving the country into the present mess._arising from there petty village mentality...
Nadia
Jul 10, 2012 12:29pm
Are there not enough qualified people in Pakistan. Why cant these dual citizenship people just be advisers ? So sad.
concerned pakistani
Jul 10, 2012 02:16pm
Dual Nationals are allowed in most civilized countries to contest election and hold public office. there are a number of Pakistanis who have served and our serving as members of parliament and even in sensitive positions, glaring example is Wajid Ali Khan former member of Parliament who got elected twice and also served a s advisor to the Prime Minister of Canada on Middle east and central Asia. One can be restricted from running for Prime minister or President however must not restrict them from voting or runing from public office. there are several Indian Canadian who are in Canadian parliament and some are cabinet ministers.
Khan
Jul 10, 2012 02:15pm
You are wrong- I live in the US and dual national and all my family members live in Pakistan. I send $1000 every month. If you dont know the facts, you have no right to doubt our honesty and strong commitment to Pakistan
Hafiz
Jul 10, 2012 01:46pm
Sir! The point is when a Pakistani cannot live and earn a living in his/her country, then why should they be given the right to take critical decisions of Pakistan. If Allah forbids some bad happens due to their wrong policies, they will just go their second home and will leave us. Its basic incentive theory. They dont have any incentive in Pakistan and seemingly less interested in Pakistani affairs because they have left their country for some reasons. Therefore, some other reasons can also force them to take decisions, not good for Pakistan.
Tariq
Jul 10, 2012 01:32pm
Pakistan is on loot sale. Fauijis are selling the land, Politicans are trying to sell seats in assembly and mullahs are selling Janat
Noor
Jul 10, 2012 01:34pm
Dear Qureshi..... There could only be 300-400 members of Parliament, so very remote chance of getting an MP, rather than you can do service to your people by investing in the country.... otherwise this would be a shortcut.....to go abroad, earn money and become and MP.....your thoughts
anon
Jul 10, 2012 01:28pm
Lets say the bill get passed and Pakistan has a PM that is dual national (US and Pakistan) Here is the oath a person would have taken when they became a US citizen: "I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God." Which oath will PM honor? I am a dual national and I believe that you should honor your oath or give up your citizenship.
haris
Jul 10, 2012 02:35pm
"Grow up fellow Pakistanis," Please tell this to the Govt. of France, Germany, China, Netherlands, Austria and to your own Govt. i.e. USA. Because they don't allow either dual citizens to run their public offices. Read your US Constitution by yourself
Dr B
Jul 10, 2012 12:14pm
Dear Noor Manmohan singh will be more loyal to Pakistan than many.
haris
Jul 10, 2012 02:40pm
Yes true, I am living in Germany and I have to renounce my Pakistani citizenship if I intend to have German citizenship.
Firaq
Jul 10, 2012 01:23pm
This bill is quite ridiculous in its nature and the haste the Government of Pakistan has shown to get it passed in a day is something one expected from this corrupt government. It is not to facilitate public cause but to benefit a bunch of dishonest politicians who do not have their stakes in Pakistan. Seventy percent of the foreign money that comes to Pakistan is remitted by the gulf workers in KSA and UAE not from this corrupt politicians. Instead flight of the capital happens due to them. They loot the people during their tenure and send the money to their surrogate motherland.
Naeem
Jul 10, 2012 12:54pm
Amit ; Well said. I am a US citizen,my country of birth, Pakistan. I agree with you.How can one has divided loyalty ? Chose one or the other. In Pakistan, those interested in dual citizenship have their wealth safely deposited in foreign banks. First sign of disturbance in Pakistan, they will get out on the first flight.
Shahnawaz Khan
Jul 11, 2012 09:41am
WE do not need an EAST INDIA COMPANY again in this region, kill this bill of dual nationality
Dr abbasi
Jul 12, 2012 09:42pm
which developed countries are many you are talking. I know there are few Pakistani dual national who are MP and Lords in UK. Don't give any wrong statement.