MPs with dual-nationality: Holding dual citizenship is no crime says Rehman Malik

Published: May 11, 2012
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Interior minister says he had given up his British citizenship before taking up public office.

Interior minister says he had given up his British citizenship before taking up public office.

ISLAMABAD: 

Interior Minister Rehman Malik claims he has given up his British nationality, but insisted that holding dual nationality is not a crime under Pakistani law.

The interior minister, now with the prime minister in London, had submitted a written statement through Attorney General Irfan Qadir before a two-judge bench of the apex court.

Malik said he had given up his British nationality on March 25, 2008, before holding public office.

“I given up my British nationality … I thus do not hold any other citizenship, including British nationality, except that of Pakistan,” Malik said.

Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry asked Malik’s lawyer Azhar Chaudhry to provide evidence to support the interior minister’s claim.

Chaudhry said that since his client is currently on an official visit to the UK, he will discuss this issue with him on his return. The chief justice advised Chaudhry to ask Malik to procure relevant certificates from the British government to support his defence.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday had issued notices to parliament to provide a list of members who held dual nationality, and reissued summons to Rehman Malik, and MNA Farahnaz Ispahani to explain whether they have dual nationality.

Earlier, while explaining the circumstances surrounding his British nationality, Malik stated, “it may be informed that by virtue of my continuous exile in UK for nine years due to political victimisation and life threats in Pakistan, which is a matter of public record, I was granted British nationality but I never gave up my Pakistani citizenship as dual nationality is allowed under Pakistani law.”

The court was also informed earlier through an application that it has no jurisdiction to hear the case of dual nationality. The court, however, did not entertain that application and had asked Malik to reply with a yes or no answer to the court’s question.

Mian Rauf, counsel for MNA Zahid Iqbal, told the court that the British government has only granted permanent residential status to his client and that Iqbal retains his Pakistani nationality. The court asked him to appear at the next hearing on May 16.

Despite being issued summons, neither MNA Farahnaz Isphahani, nor her legal representative appeared before in the court.

The court asked her to engage a lawyer before the next date of hearing.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 11th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (19)

  • Usman
    May 11, 2012 - 11:47AM

    These ‘tourist’ politicians arrived in our country with one brief case and will leave once they have made enough money for their overseas properties. That is the danger of dual nationality.

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  • ZYZE
    May 11, 2012 - 12:02PM

    we will see where you will live after this govt will go…. U.K or Pakistan.

    Now more or less every one knows you , how much truth you speak… HAHAHHAHA

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  • Rehan
    May 11, 2012 - 12:18PM

    I have no words for such shameless people………but it must be the law in Pakistan that no person can participate in elections or any government post if he is having any other nationality other than Pakistani at least in last 5 years.

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  • Ali
    May 11, 2012 - 12:22PM

    Can the Supreme Court move on to more pressing issues now. Property rights, contractual rights, human rights violations that have engulfed this nation. I get it: PPP is unlikeable and an easy prey( through their own fault ), but judicial activism right now is not warranted. How about addressing the more than thousand backlog cases as recommended by the “National Judicial Policy Recommendations” in 2009.

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  • Mahmood
    May 11, 2012 - 1:22PM

    It might not be a crime Mr. Malik, but what does it say about their loyalty to Pakistan?

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  • faraz
    May 11, 2012 - 2:16PM

    Nothing is a crime except being an ordinary citizen, enjoying democracy day in and day out!

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  • ukmuslim
    May 11, 2012 - 2:45PM

    most of the countries, I know, have law that, only citizen of that country can stand for election or for any government post except uk (due to commonwealth / historical empire of the queen).
    pakistan has strange law.

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  • Hunter Punter
    May 11, 2012 - 3:29PM

    Dual nationality politicians do bring in “foreign” expertise on democracy! Also, after regime changes, better to escape to dual Nation that be thrown in prison!
    malik should not have given up his british citizenship. its a great country to stay in! great weather, great food, great entertainment. And as much political activity by pak politicians in london as in pakistan!! So maybe no one misses anything!!

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  • Sundeep
    May 11, 2012 - 3:59PM

    How can an elected MP be loyal to two countries at the same time, is beyond me? Citizenship entails loyalty to said countries, would Rehman be loyal to both the countries when their interests doesn’t align with each other. How would that be pulled off without fooling the people?

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  • ishrat salim
    May 11, 2012 - 4:06PM

    Rehan u r right…except as being a member of commonwealth Pakistan being one of the members can retain both UK & Pakistani citizenship, but as per constitution, it is clear that no dual citizens can become a govt servant or members of Parliament….period…but there is no law to enforce this clause…..

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  • Mohammad
    May 11, 2012 - 4:07PM

    Dual National should not be allowed in Gov’t ….

    I am agree with Usman, Ali Rehan….i Live out side of Pakistan and have seen these Policial Peoples Families living stander is better then US-Congressman/Senator becuase even US-Congressman/Senator family members has to work to make money but our these people living out of PAKISTAN – Living with all the Luxrey and they abuse Gov’t Money..

    I can say one thing US-Gov’t Running based on True Islamic kind of Rules but all Muslim Countries are running on NON-Islamic Rules.— SHAME on US..

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  • elcay
    May 11, 2012 - 5:28PM

    If he had relinquished British Citizenship, he should have produced the certificate on the very first appearance in the SC. This could have saved a lot of money in lawyers’s fees. But no he has not relinquished the citizenship. And now he is saying that there is no criminality in it. Then why is there Article 63 1(c)? And why has he employed a lawyer?

    Any British Citizen in UK can get the details of nationality by Right to Information procedure from Nationality Division or Company Registration Office(for his Security firm).Recommend

  • city idiot
    May 11, 2012 - 5:36PM

    court was told that the can not hear the case. why does the government say this in every case that they can not hear this case. Recommend

  • SM
    May 11, 2012 - 5:40PM

    Yes it is Mr Malik…. In other countries that you like to visit and quote, if you are a public official you cannot hold citizenship to any other country. So do not think you can make a fool of Pakistanis.. Recommend

  • ullo
    May 11, 2012 - 6:28PM

    One has to leave all other nationalities before one can get inducted in to Pakistan Army….this rule should be replicated on all govt office holders…..

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  • Mirza
    May 11, 2012 - 7:31PM

    SC cannot see the elephant in the room called terrorists. They are too busy in making policies and not taking care of the business at hand. No terrorist left behind.

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  • jock
    May 12, 2012 - 2:59AM

    Being shameless is no ‘crime’ either…we love you anyways Mr. Malik.

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  • ishrat salim
    May 12, 2012 - 4:07PM

    Mirza…yr continued tirade against the judiciary is most callous…u may hv right to free opinion….but try to do same in America & see how ” democracy ” works there…we are taking ” democracy ” for a ride….all of us….

    it is not the fault of judiciary if terrorist are not convicted for reasons & u know it….

    – the evidences presented by the prosecutors are insufficient to convict them…who are supposed to make a foolproof / water-tight investigations ? court or police ?

    – there is no law to protect the witnesses who are prepared to give their account but due to fear of their lives they do not come forward…will u protect them ? & who makes law ? the Parliament makes such legislations into law..

    – FIR`s are written by most uneducated policemen who confuses with relevant penal codes etc;it is not their fault…even we the educated, literate people are not aware of rights as enshrined in the constitution…let alone these half-educated policemen…

    – most of the penal codes are outdated from pre-partitioned days & are still refferred to….so, who is going to update these ?…court or Parliament…it has to bring in new updated laws inorder to keep up with the ground realities….but does anybody cares ?

    but we are busy in saving our seat of power at the cost of poor people….

    now u understand Mr Mirza…do not comment just for the sake of commenting…we are all part of this mess..let us admit it…Recommend

  • Salman Sheikh
    May 31, 2012 - 9:39AM

    Certainly it is not a crime but you couldn’t hold public office for it.

    Recommend

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