KARACHI: The matter of dual nationals being allowed to hold public office is an interesting one. A few months back, when the election commission granted overseas Pakistanis — including dual nationals living abroad — the right to vote, the majority of people in the country seemed to be happy with the move. However, there is severe criticism on the matter of dual nationals (most of whom are living in Pakistan, interestingly) being allowed to hold public office.
The rationale being given for the opposition is that dual nationals have pledged allegiance to another country and would not be sincere to Pakistan. However, the same can be applied to voting rights — a person who has pledged allegiance to another country cannot be sincere with his vote. We cannot afford more than a million ‘insincere’ votes, can we? I find it hypocritical to demand voting rights for dual nationals yet, bar them from holding public office. The same logic — of the lack of sincerity — should be applied to both the matters and people with dual nationality should not be allowed to vote or hold public office.
Asad V Shairani
Published in The Express Tribune, July 11th, 2012.
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