Convicted surgeon can turn to high court: PM

Published: May 28, 2012

No restriction on dual citizenship in constitution, says prime minister. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Sunday fended off criticism over the conviction of a physician who helped the CIA smoke out Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad last year, saying he could defend himself in the higher courts under the country’s existing laws.

During an interview with Geo News, the premier said that although Dr Afridi’s actions were “wrongful”, he should still hope for justice through normal courts.

Dr Afridi was sentenced to 33 years for treason, last week. He was sacked as a government doctor two months ago and was found guilty under the tribal justice system in Khyber district, part of Pakistan’s semi-autonomous tribal belt.

To another question regarding Pakistan’s relations with the US, Gilani said talks were under way between the two allies as far as reopening of Nato supply lines was concerned. The prime minister insisted relations between two countries could not be based on an incident but on solid grounds.

Dual citizenship

The prime minister said there was no restriction on dual citizenship in the constitution and he was in favour of expatriate Pakistanis getting the right to vote and becoming members of parliament.

He said that more than 300 councillors, mayors and members of House of Commons and House of Lords in Britain were Pakistanis.

“There should be a debate on the issue of dual citizenship and parliament should decide the issue and legislate,” he said adding expatriates should not be stripped of the right to become members of parliament and voters in Pakistan.

“I am in favour of it. OverseasPakistanis should have the right to vote and become members of parliament.”

Published in The Express Tribune, May 28th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • Disco
    May 28, 2012 - 9:49AM

    Interpretation of the Constitution and Law is the sole domain of the SC, take note our respected PM.

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  • Junaid Ali
    May 28, 2012 - 10:28AM

    Wow – Now Mr Yousuf Raza will write a book on How to Defy Court orders.!!!

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  • ahsan
    May 28, 2012 - 10:42AM

    where is youm-e-tabir news

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  • BADurrani
    May 28, 2012 - 10:50AM

    There is no restriction that prevents a Pakistani citizen from obtaining dual nationality however with regards to members of Parliament

    The Constitution of Pakistan States:

    Disqualifications for membership of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament):
    (1) A person shall be disqualified from being elected or chosen as, and from being, a member of the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament), if:-
    (a) he is of unsound mind and has been so declared by a competent court; or
    (b) he is an undischarged insolvent; or
    (c) he ceases to be a citizen of Pakistan, or acquires the citizenship of a foreign State; or …..
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  • pakistani baloch
    May 28, 2012 - 11:05AM

    shakeel afridi deserves punishment

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  • Not me
    May 28, 2012 - 11:07AM

    Mr Prime Minister; please leave the interpretation of constitution to the Courts.

    You keep on doing what you do best: bad governance and messing up the macro economy of the country

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  • DevilHunterX
    May 28, 2012 - 11:22AM

    Disqualifications for membership of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament):

    (1) A person shall be disqualified from being elected or chosen as, and from being, a member of the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament), if:-

    (c) he ceases to be a citizen of Pakistan, or acquires the citizenship of a foreign State

    For the convicted PM, (a) is more appropriative:

    (a) he is of unsound mind and has been so declared by a competent court;

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  • Polpot
    May 28, 2012 - 11:35AM

    Did not the PM say that opening of Nato supply line is important cause Nato represents 48 countries and Pakistan cannot burn bridges with all of them?

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  • May 28, 2012 - 11:58AM

    In Pakistan Army and Supreme court have always been above constitution. One can dismantle the civilian rule of Constitution any time by a coup and the other can justify this brutal capture of power under the pretext of rule of necessacity. And can also decide when to order martial law and where. We have, in our childhood, read the story of “ANDHER NAGRI CHOUPAT RAJA”

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  • umair
    May 28, 2012 - 12:58PM

    One convict advising the the other convict ;-)

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