The three day shutdown in Karachi following the arrest of a popular political figure who now is a British national, should be seen as a complete failure of the provincial government and law enforcement agencies. Karachi was shut down through intimidation and threats for an occurrence in London, events over which neither province nor federation had any jurisdiction. Even if Altaf Hussain had not been a British national, and residing there on a valid immigration status, and an alleged crime had been committed, British law would have jurisdiction, unless the individual were to have diplomatic immunity.

The 1973 Constitution, following precedents set by other democratic countries, has very clearly foreseen repercussions of political activities and holding of public offices by citizens of other countries as a blatant conflict of interest. Seven infants died in a hospital, because incubators ran out of oxygen, in a city where everything was closed and the provincial government failed to fulfill its basic obligations. Our national interest is jeopardized if dual nationals, possessing permanent residential status, or green cards etc are allowed to head state corporations, financial, regulatory bodies, organizations that handle sensitive information or head any political or religious party based in Pakistan, otherwise this country would face anarchy and complete breakdown, the onset of which is visible daily.


Lahore, June 8.