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

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


Our Correspondent May 11, 2012

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.

COMMENTS (19)

Salman Sheikh | 9 years ago | Reply

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

ishrat salim | 9 years ago | Reply 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...
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