ISLAMABAD: A total of 213 government officers serving in various ministries, divisions, provincial departments and autonomous bodies hold dual nationality, with some of them assigned to key positions, a report compiled by the Establishment Division reveals.
More than half of these officers (127) are working in attached departments and autonomous organisations, while another large group of 42 officers is posted with the provincial governments.
The Azad Kashmir government has 20 such officers, disclosed the report prepared for the Supreme Court that has taken up a suo motu case related to dual national officers in pay scales 17-22.
Another 24 officers belong to the occupational groups. The highest number of officers with dual nationality is from the Pakistan Administrative Services (PAS/DMG), which has eight such officers. It is considered to be the elite services group. It is followed by the Police Service of Pakistan (PSP) with five officers. The Inland Revenue Service has four, the Pakistan Customs Service has three and the Pakistan Audit and Accounts Service and the Commerce and Trade Groups have two officers each with dual nationality.
Establishment Division document prepared for SC shows some of them are assigned to key positions
The eight PAS officers are: Human Rights Division Secretary Rabiya Javeri Agha (UK), Additional Secretary of Interior Sher Afghan Khan (US), Ali Sarfraz Khan (UK), PAS Campus Director Sarah Saeed (UK), Dr Muhammad Ajmal (Canada), Rashid Mansoor (Canada), Azhar Rauf (UK) and Aslam Rao (UK).
The police officers with dual nationality are: Narcotics Control Division Secretary retired Sq Ldr Iqbal Mahmood (Canada), Punjab Additional IG Syed Ejaz Hussain Shah (Canada), Special Branch DIG Zaeem Iqbal Sheikh (UK), Gwadar SSP Barkat Hussain Khosa (Canada) and Balochistan AIG Sohail Ahmed Shaikh (UK).
Muhammad Ali Jinnah (Canada), posted in Pakistan Embassy, Tehran, and Nyle Nazir Gondal (US) are from the Audit and Accounts Service; Shaheer Ashraf (US) and Sahar Nadeem Hamid (US) belong to the Commerce and Trade Group; Shazia Memon (UK), Sajjad Taslim Azam (UK), Syeda Naureen Zahra (Canada) and Naeem Babar (Australia) are from the Inland Revenue Service; and Muhammad Ibrahim (US), currently posted as Consul General in Montreal, Basit Hussain (UK) and Sumaira Nazir (New Zealand) represent the Customs Service.
Details of 30 officers of PAS, PSP, Office Management Group and Secretariat Group were not received, despite the Supreme Court’s warning that concealment of information could have serious legal consequences. Some of these officers are out of the country on ex-Pakistan leave.
The apex court had on Jan 17 sought details of the officers with dual nationality serving in federal and provincial governments. Establishment Division Secretary Maroof Afzal was appointed coordinator for the collection of information.
There is no specific law barring dual nationals from serving in government departments, but the court believes that maintaining allegiance to a foreign country could constitute conflict of interest. The apex court rulings suggest that it could call for legislation in this respect.
The court had in its judgement of Sept 20, 2012 disqualified 11 legislators for keeping nationalities of other countries.
Lately, it has transpired that one judge each of the Lahore and Sindh high courts also possessed dual nationality by birth. Another five such judges are working in the lower judiciary.
The controversy over dual nationality is predicated on the assumption that people with dual nationality do not have the same level of commitment to the country as those having only Pakistani nationality because of the former’s limited stakes in the future of the country that has suffered decades of maladministration, corruption and abuse of power.
Published in Dawn, March 8th, 2018