Public Accounts Committee seeks removal of dual nationals from key posts

Published September 22, 2022
Public Accounts Committee Chairperson Noor Alam Khan presides over a meeting of the National Assembly body on Wednesday. — Photo courtesy Committees of NA Twitter
Public Accounts Committee Chairperson Noor Alam Khan presides over a meeting of the National Assembly body on Wednesday. — Photo courtesy Committees of NA Twitter

ISLAMABAD: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the National Assembly on Wednesday asked the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) to remove dual nationals from ‘sensitive positions’ and told the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions to confine Afghan refugees to camps and repatriate them.

The parliamentary body at its meeting expressed concern over high-ranking officials in sensitive positions despite having the nationality of other countries, including the US, the UK, Australia and Canada.

This is not the first time such information has been shared with parliament, as the Senate in 2013 was apprised of the names and designations of several such officials serving in Nadra.

The PAC discussed the matter in its meeting, after it was observed that Nadra, which has links with sensitive agencies and government organisations, had been sitting on the delicate information.

Orders confinement of Afghan refugees to their camps

PAC Chairman Noor Alam Khan said: “Individuals who have pledged allegiance to Her Majesty cannot be trusted.” He observed that such an individual could be of interest to the US, when the committee was informed that Sohail Jehangir, who has American nationality, was posted as director general near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

The names of dual nationals were also read out during the meeting.

The PAC was informed that Director General (DG) in Nadra Fizzah Shahid, DG Usman Cheema, Directors Waryam Shafqat and Ammair Ali Khan also held Australian nationality, DG Ahmerin Hussain, Director Samir Khan, Deputy Directors Shahid Ali Khan, Manzoor Ahmed Khan and Mukarram Ali, and Registration Executive Hayan were British nationals as well, Assistant Director Sohail Irshad Anjum was an American national, while Director Ahmad Kamal Gilani held Canadian nationality also. “If they cannot be removed from service, they should be removed from important positions,” the PAC chairman asserted.

Afghan refugees

Taking up the issue of Afghan refugees, the PAC believed there were more than 10 million Afghan refugees living across Pakistan, after the committee was told that 1.43m of them were registered.

The PAC chairman said the parliamentary body was particularly concerned over the Afghans who, according to him, had been issued Pakistani passports and computerised national identity cards.

He asked FIA Director General Mohsin Butt to provide a list of Afghans holding Pakistani passports.

Published in Dawn, September 22nd, 2022

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