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Spying janitors


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NOW that we’ve established lawmakers should not be dual nationals, let’s extend this principle to government-employed janitors, gardeners and peons too. They might, after all, overhear details about the actual pace of development of our nuclear programme or what we really think about China while they are watering the plants or fetching tea. Who knows whom they might leak such sensitive state secrets to. Speaking of which, the bureaucrats they would be fetching the tea for should also obviously come clean about any other passports they might be concealing as a way to cover up their divided loyalties. As should the chairman of the proposed federal drug regulatory authority, so that he or she is in no danger of colluding with foreign pharmaceutical firms.

The truly unfortunate part of all this is that none of it is made up. Punjab has asked all government employees, from top bureaucrats to support staff, to submit proof they are not dual nationals — despite the fact that as Pakistani citizens they have the right to simultaneously maintain the passports of certain other countries. Meanwhile, the opposition has demanded in the National Assembly that the person in charge of the much-needed central drug regulatory authority not be a dual citizen. There, is, of course, a simple explanation for this extension of the principle to jobs far from the country’s top public offices (which it makes sense to limit to those who have no other passports): demonise dual nationality and earn populist credentials while positioning yourself in opposition to a ruling party that doesn’t even want legislators to have to meet the constitutional, and far more justifiable, requirement that lawmakers not be dual citizens. So what if this strategy results in a witch-hunt of dual nationals who quite legally happen to work anywhere in government? If it serves a political purpose, no initiative is too absurd.

Comments (5) Closed

zeh mughal Oct 17, 2012 12:51pm
I could'nt understand the essence n policy of this editorial? can any one please explain that how dual nationals are harmful for our country? what law and judiciary says in this context? please please give me a complete info in this regard.... m waiting
Ye Z Oct 17, 2012 12:13pm
Thanks for trashing so unashamedly a subject of national security.
JPositive Oct 17, 2012 05:09pm
We must remember that majority of talented Pakistanis left the country because other (western / developed) countries were able to attract their talent. They opted for the nationality of other countries because it helped them in maintaining their legal status there. It doesn't mean that they are traitors or even not loyal to Pakistan. They are as faithful to this country as anyone else. Let's stop this delusional patriotism being promoted by demagogic rabble-rousers. Shunning overseas dual-nationals from government jobs would simply mean a further descent of the country into failure.
AAS Oct 17, 2012 04:04pm
No one with dual nationalty should be allowed to work in any government offices as they are a security risk.
Samad Chaudhry Oct 17, 2012 07:07am
I mentioned in my previous letter that I am dual national since 1973 but I am still proud to be a Pakistani. I agree that dual national should not hold parliament seat or law making bodies for their loyalties become divided. It is hardly sufficient that when Pakistan play with England on cricket ground we, our children, grand children support Pakistan but we should not have any right to sit on the law making seats. Though I fully support for ordinary civil servant with dual nationality be allowed to find a job at lower level. My father was a civil servant and opted for FINAL Pakistan at the time of partition arriving at Karachi on 13th August 1947 from Delhi in special trains. We love our country and our people except a few who are bent upon ruining and destroying our beloved country and they call themselves MUSLIMS.Alas!