Dual nationals

14 Aug 2020

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A PERSON is born a citizen of his country without choice but later in life takes up dual nationality of a country he thinks is better than the country of his birth and where he wants his offspring to live and progress.

For this, he signs and takes the oath of allegiance of the country of his preference. For US citizenship, the oath of allegiance is as under:

“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.”

Can any person who has dual nationality and prefers to live abroad and comes to Pakistan for a short time only to join the government or as an adviser/any portfolio safeguard the interests of Pakistan, especially when a conflict of interest arises between his two countries of citizenship?

My answer is ‘no’. He will be confused and his decisions will compromise the interest of Pakistan, no matter how patriotic the person thinks he or she is.

My question to this government is: out of 212.2 million population can’t it find a handful of Pakistanis who are not confused and are sure that they will live and die for Pakistan and that the brunt of their decisions will be borne by themselves and their family who have preferred to live in this country despite its problems instead of seeking greener pastures despite choices?

Faraz F. Herekar
Karachi

Published in Dawn, August 14th, 2020