PM Gillani has stated that there was no restriction on dual nationality for legislators in our constitution. Perhaps other than clause for immunity he is not aware that Article 63(1)(c), says that a Person shall be disqualified from being elected or chosen as and from being an MP if he ceases to be a citizen of Pakistan, or acquires the citizenship of a foreign state. Is our PM aware that false or incomplete declaration before Election Commission of Pakistan is a serious crime which merits disqualification. There is no issue giving voting rights to expatriate Pakistanis holding dual nationality, but under no circumstances can they be eligible for any public office or diplomatic assignment. An expatriate can serve on a contract if he has specialization in field with none available in Pakistan. There is also no bar on investment in Pakistan, or to own any business or private property, as long as he pays taxes. In certain countries like UK, nationals residing abroad are only entitled to enjoy privileges of nationality if he/she has paid taxes in preceding three years.
When a Pakistani citizen having acquired citizenship by birth, chooses to get another nationality, he pledges his absolute loyalty to new adopted country. If a US or UK citizen by birth, decides to adopt foreign nationality, he cannot assume any public office in his former country. Pakistan has faced many hardships because of greed of such men with split loyalties, who siphoned billions of dollars to foreign bank accounts. The powerful corrupt mafia in this country comprises mostly of those who hold dual residential or immigration status. It is unfortunate that few vultures have brought a bad name to large majority of our honest expatriates, who repatriate billions of dollars annually to their families residing in Pakistan, while a handful who have shifted lock, stock and barrel to foreign countries are involved in massive corruption and flight of capital. There is a long list of such men and women starting from 60s with M Ahmed, Moeen Qureshi, Shoaib, Shaukat Aziz, Hamesh Khan, Syed Jamaat Ali Shah etc . It was a dual nationality holder Syed Jamaat Ali Shah who escaped to Canada on November 29th 2011 as media reported against his negligence to take up issue of 45 MW Nimoo Bazgo hydro-power project built by India on the Indus River. He had earlier failed taking timely action on construction of Baglihar Dam in Held Kashmir and Kinshanganga Dam on Neelum river at Gurez.
MALIK TARIQ ALI,
Lahore, May 29.