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Dual nationality: sailing in two boats

Published Oct 26, 2012 03:58am


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THIS is apropos of the issue of dual nationals and the Constitution which forbids them from holding elected public office.

Arguments are being put forth quoting example of Arnold Schwarzenegger who held elected public office in the US.

Schwarzenegger was an Austrian by birth, who migrated to America in 1968 after becoming Mr Universe. As per Austrian law, a citizen who acquires another citizenship by voluntary action loses Austrian citizenship. The exception is in cases where permission to retain citizenship has been obtained before acquiring another citizenship.

Former citizens of Austria, who lost citizenship other than by renunciation or deprivation, can regain their citizenship only after one year residence in Austria. The Austrian citizenship is also automatically lost by serving in a foreign army.

Schwarzenegger cannot hold elected public office in Austria after having voluntarily renounced his loyalty to that country, when he took the oath of the citizenship of America.

This is the issue under discussion that any citizen of Pakistan who of his own will takes the oath of citizenship of another country must not be allowed to hold elected, or even paid public office in his former country of origin, because he has renounced his loyalty to that country.

In any case, the constitution of Pakistan is supreme law, and the Citizenship Act of 1951 is subservient to it and in case of any conflict, the constitution prevails.

The Supreme Court has given a very clear judgment on this issue and it alone is a legally accepted forum for interpretation of the constitution. Common sense dictates that a citizen, who has pledged loyalty to a country, must be loyal to it alone. It is the most recent oath of loyalty which overrides any previous oath or pledge of loyalty to any other country, including the country of birth.

Let the fate and destiny of Pakistan be decided by those who have no split loyalties and who have undivided stakes in that country alone. The people of Pakistan have had enough of experimenting with men like Shaukat Aziz. Those Pakistani-origin dual nationals eager to help this country can invest in it, or own private business, and even offer consultancy services, but must understand that they cannot sail in two boats simultaneously, nor be loyal to both nations simultaneously, in case of a conflict between them.

M. ALI      United States


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Comments (8) Closed

jalaluddin S. Hussain Oct 26, 2012 04:24am
Accepting a public service is one thing and helping the "mother" country monetarily and intellectually, is quite another. 7 million overseas Pakistanis have lot of potential to do good to Pakistan. They just cannot be stopped from doing this simply because they happen to be dual national also. Long live the patriotic Pakistanis living abroad and long live Pakistan itself.
khan Oct 26, 2012 11:38am
@Ali. Your analysis is not only flawed but also misleading. Let me ask you a question, how many dual nationals stole Pakistani treasures and deposited in the US banks? Do you know that being a dual national you are not going to commit crime especially when it comes to money laundering, simply because the US law and enforcement agencies will track you a put you behind the bars with multiple charges. You know it is easy to commit a crime and steal resources when you are ONLY Pakistani citizen. Not convinced? Just get out of the US and visit Pakistan from Khyber to Karachi and see for yourself how many folks are honest to their nation? Dude, go to the ID card office, go to the driver license office, go to the airport, immigration, police, etc, they act like Italian mafia. Ask them if they are dual national? Do you know that America was built by refugees? Please study US history. You don?t even know that in America, you can run for senate and congress even if you are a dual national. You don?t have to be dual national to become Mir Sadiq and Mir Jaffar, you don?t have to be a dual national to re-sell this nation [that is already sold]. Your generals and politicians are not dual national and yet they made this country a fish market. Stop insulting dual nationals, you have no right to doubt there sincerity. The only hope Pakistani have is your dual national and oversea folks, they are honest, professional and committed to this nation. They deserve this right Z Khan USA
ali Oct 26, 2012 03:22pm
Dual nationality holders should not be allowed to hold elected or public office. Those who have the opposite view in this regard tell me if you be appointed as the Foreign minister of Pakistan having dual nationality (eg; US nationality) and you were attending a meeting on drone strikes ,then which country's stance would you support ?
hamid Shafiq Oct 26, 2012 11:17am
when govt do not care of common people so what supreme court do? i hope only CNG price can show what the game play by the govt and other big elephants to suck the blood of poor people in the form of taxes and in reply nothing. the above article is hundred percent true that we make pakistani nationality is a paper in the form of passport with no loyalites. dual national people are traitor because they are not loyal with single country and its very difficult to a person to support and oppose at single time for two opponent different countries.
ahmedj Oct 26, 2012 04:29pm
It is not sailing in two boats simultaneously rather having one boat for sailing and the other as a lifeboat. The lifeboat will be used when SOS signal goes up and mother boat is abandoned.
Mahmood Minhas Oct 26, 2012 01:50pm
The discussion on the subjected matter have become lengthy with no result. We should honor the terms of our constitution and decision taken by our Apex court.
Mallick Oct 26, 2012 12:11pm
The few dual nationals who have benefitted the most from Pakistan and than of their own sweet will opted to abandon their motherland must have no right to decide the fate of this country, nor hold any other public office , nor any ambassadorial assignment. While the 6 million expats remit billions of dollars to Pakistan, it is the few like Shaukat Aziz, Mush, AH etc who are involved in corruption and transfer of billions back to their foreign bank accounts.
observer Oct 26, 2012 08:58am
Judgment on dual nationalities by Supreme Court was populist in nature just like many others aimed and timed to appeal to masses' sense of political preferences. Even a judge of LHC said the courts are there to safeguard and benefit poor people. Judges are openly running businesses and giving political statements every day. This is great misuse of judicial activism. Look at CNG pricing decision - Purely populist in nature. Ignores economic realities and government's authority to impose taxes. It is not a legal issue and Supreme Court gives a direct verdict. (I hope my comment gets published).