ISLAMABAD - The claim of Interior Minister Rehman Malik that the renunciation of his British nationality can be well checked from the UK Home Office could not be taken seriously because Home Office does not disclose the data of its citizens to any person or functionary other than the concerned citizen himself, The Nation on Thursday learnt on good authority.
However, this scribe came to know after an SMS conversation with a London based lawyer dealing with immigration and human rights cases that ‘Data Protection Act’ is strictly applied in UK and Home Office would not disclose the details about the nationality of Rehman Malik to anybody until he himself would make such request over the issue.
In reply to an SMS sent to Muzammil Mukhtar, a practicing solicitor at London, cell number that whether he can apply on behalf of this reporter to UK Home Office to get details whether Rehman Malik had renounced his British nationality or not, he replied with the same message being reproduced below.
‘Data Protection Act is strictly applied in the UK. It can only be sought through an application for data access to the Home Office. I make these applications frequently ,however, I need his (Rehman Malik) signature on authority letter ,otherwise, the Home Office would not disclose it’.
Rehman Malik so far has failed to produce nationality renunciation 1 (NR1) form before the Supreme Court of Pakistan, which testifies that the concerned person has withdrawn his British nationality.
Supreme Court on Wednesday hearing the petition on dual nationality issue of four legislators rejected the documents submitted by the counsel of Rehman Malik showing that he had renounced his British nationality because the papers were not duly certified.
The court ordered the Advocate Azhar Chaudhry, the counsel for Rehman Malik, to submit NR1 form duly signed and stamped alongwith a receipt mentioning payment of renunciation fee as a formal evidence to prove that he had renounced his citizenship till June 4th.
Insiders say that as the UK Home Office under the Data Protection Act would not disclose the details about the nationality of Rehman Malik so the matter would take many months to solve the issue even if some request was sent to the Office through Ministry of Foreign Affairs in case the apex court directed so.
However, according to an insider, Rehman Malik is wise enough that he would never submit any fake document about the renunciation of his nationality rather would use delaying tactics on the issue as he knows that the authenticity of the documents would get verified.