ISLAMABAD   -   Federal Minister for Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Sajid Hussain Turi on Sunday said that the government will try to resolve the dual nationality issue of the Pakistanis living in Spain.

Talking to Information Secretary PPP Europe Abdul Razza Sadiq – who is also a prominent member of the ruling Spanish Socialist Party – the minister said that the government was concerned over the issue of the overseas Pakistan and will try to resolve all the issues faced by the expatriates.

Turi acknowledged that dual nationality was a just demand of the Pakistanis living in Spain and must be taken up with the Spanish government.

Presently, denial of dual-nationality by Spain remains the biggest issue for the Pakistanis who have to renounce one citizenship to claim the other.

Pakistanis mostly working in Barcelona are about 100,000 in number. Around 60-70 percent of them live in Barcelona. They run restaurants, drive taxis and do different jobs to contribute to Spain’s economy and fund their families back in Pakistan.

Spain does permit dual citizenship under limited circumstances. It permits dual citizenship for all Spanish citizens by origin, so long as they declare their will to retain the Spanish nationality within three years of acquiring another nationality.

This requirement is waived for natural citizens of an Ibero-American country, Andorra, the Philippines, Equatorial Guinea or Portugal, and any other country that Spain has a bilateral agreement with.

For those seeking to acquire Spanish citizenship as their second citizenship, whether or not the person can retain dual citizenship depends on the county in which they hold their original citizenship. Pakistanis do not have any agreement with Spain on dual nationality so far.

Sajid Hussain Turi assured Abdul Razza Sadiq that the issue will be pursued and settled soon.

On the occasion, Abdul Razza Sadiq also urged the minister to discuss the issue of local government representation with the Spanish authorities.

He said that citizens of some countries who live in Spain with even temporary residence cards are allowed to take vote and part in the local government elections.

“If this facility is also provided to the Pakistanis, our country can benefit a lot because local government is the base and we will have lots of representatives elected as councillors etc,” he maintained.

Turi appreciated the suggestion and pledged to take proposal with the Spanish authorities in the near future.