The issue of dual nationalities | Pakistan Today

The issue of dual nationalities

Two legislators – Farahnaz Ispahani and Rehman Malik – of the ruling PPP were disqualified by the Supreme Court. We believe that this is a biased verdict of the court against the democratic government and is creating rifts between the institutions. In the light of constitution, it is the duty of the executive and Election Commission to disqualify any legislator. And nowhere in the constitution is it written that Pakistanis cannot hold dual citizenship and cannot become legislators and bureaucrats. Court proceedings are widely condemned in Pakistan because on one hand, dual nationals are given right to vote to elect members of parliament in Pakistan; while on the other hand dual nationals have no right to represent them (dual nationals) and nation as a whole. What an irony!
Regarding dual nationality issue, Attorney General Irfan Qadir’s view is also very clear that the Supreme Court had no jurisdiction to suspend or disqualify any lawmaker and its earlier decision to suspend the membership of Farahnaz Ispahani was also without any authority. During court proceedings, Attorney General Irfan Qadir insisted that the issue raised a question over whether or not the court had the mandate to disqualify parliamentarians. He also raised objections to the chief justice’s referral to the fake degree case as precedent, saying that the members would continue sitting in the assemblies to address the miseries of overseas Pakistanis.
Even established democracies of the world have no issue with any public office holder who is a dual national. We have few examples from established democracies of the world. Arnold Schwarzenegger retained his Austrian citizenship during his service as Governor of California while former Canadian Prime Minister John Turner was a dual citizen born in the United Kingdom. United Kingdom also has no issue with dual citizenship and holding public offices. In Pakistan, there should be a debate on the issue of dual citizenship and the Parliament should decide the issue and legislate as we have practical examples of established democracies of the world.

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