Dual nationality: Punjab finance minister asked to resign

Published: June 6, 2012
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Punjab finance minister denies reports, says if party asks for resignation, he will tender it. PHOTO: PAP.GOV.PK

Punjab finance minister denies reports, says if party asks for resignation, he will tender it. PHOTO: PAP.GOV.PK

LAHORE: Punjab Finance Minister Rana Asif, who was administered oath as the second minority minister in May, has been asked by the party to resign from his ministerial slot as well from his Punjab Assembly seat for possessing dual nationality, sources privy to the development told The Express Tribune.

However, when asked about the news by the media Asif denied it and urged that if his party leadership demands, he is even ready to sacrifice his life.

The Opposition in Punjab Assembly (PA) on Tuesday had vociferously demanded Asif’s resignation for holding dual nationality. Pakistan Muslim League – Quaid’s (PML-Q) MPA Samina Khawar Hayat had distributed the pages of the Lahore High Court (LHC) ruling among assembly members and demanded the speaker to bar Asif from presenting the Punjab budget.

According to the LHC ruling, Asif had confessed that he is dual national as he has Canadian nationality and admitted that he is a Christian. LHC Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial, who heard Asif’s case, had stated in his ruling that the case of dual nationality is in the Supreme Court and then disposed of the case.

It is pertinent to mention that the opposition’s ruckus during Tuesday’s PA session had not only put the treasury benches on back foot but also forced Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah to leave the house and to consult Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif in this regard.

Senator Kamran Michael, who had presented the Punjab budget last year, was the first Christian finance minister in the Punjab cabinet to have done so, albeit not without controversy. The first three budgets were presented by Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) finance minister Tanvir Ashraf Kaira.

According to the rules of business, the chief minister can appoint anyone to present budget speech for the fiscal year 2012-2013.

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Reader Comments (14)

  • Ordinary Villager
    Jun 6, 2012 - 8:18PM

    This is a slap to the federal government and PPP. This is Punjab and rule of law is taken as a supreme thing here and this is not the first time PMLN have taken resignations from its members for breaking the rule of law while at the federal level Mr Rehman Malik is being congratulated for breaking the rules and PPP is playing victim card for defending him . But the hypocricy is that in Punjab PPP is demanding resignations for dual nationalities but outside of Punjab rules dont apply on Foreign nationality holders for PPP.

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  • Ali tanoli
    Jun 6, 2012 - 8:27PM

    Hahhahahahha what gonna if every one of Govt ministers resigned because they all are foriegn citizen even Abdul Satar Edhi has american citizenship Altaf Bhai has it, Nawaz and
    Gillani sons got foriegn passports like our shiekh brothers of mid east we rule and eat there but accounts mentain foriegn ,……

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  • alamzaib
    Jun 6, 2012 - 9:11PM

    what’s wrong if Pakistanis having dual nationality. overseas Pakistani send billions of dollars in remittance . if they stop remittance today Pakistan will be worse than somalia. they are all educated hard working people . don’t alienate them.

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  • M Ahmed
    Jun 6, 2012 - 9:23PM

    Nobody needs and cares . Just resign!. you lied, simple!. Same goes for Rehman Malik. Recommend

  • fahad
    Jun 6, 2012 - 10:06PM

    A very mature decision on PMLNs behalf. Muslim league has truly evolved over the years. i hope they have learnt from their previous mistakes. looking forward to seeing them in federation again.

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  • Mirza
    Jun 6, 2012 - 11:11PM

    PML-N has become law abiding only after they are caught. I would be a good example that as soon as the SC targeted PPP leader Isphani, there should have been resignation from all parties. On one hand they demanded resignation from Malik on the other they shamefully continued with their dual nationality ministers until they are caught. If they were not caught they would live happily thereafter.Recommend

  • Jun 7, 2012 - 1:41AM

    Another good step by the Punjab government. I’m not against overseas Pakistanis in any way, they are the backbone of our economy but being MNAs and MPAs while retaining a foreign nationality is just not fair.

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Jun 7, 2012 - 2:05AM

    I have never heard that there is any member of Lok Sabha and of the Congress (Indian Parliament) is holding a dual nationality other than Indian Nationality.

    In India, the constitution even does not allow any member who was born abroad to become member of the Indian Parliament.

    This is one of the basic reasons that Sonia Gandhi, wife of the late Rajiv Gandhi could not become Prime Minister of India after her party won the elections as she was born in Italy.

    Pakistani legislators should one out of the two. Either they remain a dual national than in this case they must resign from the Assemblies or cancel the dual nationality to remain in the public office.

    Now there is no option or choice let for Pakistani legislators.

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  • Nazia Imran
    Jun 7, 2012 - 3:09AM

    @alamzaib: “what’s wrong if Pakistanis having dual nationality”

    You are asking the wrong question. in the wrong context. No one is complaing that having dual nationality is a bad thing in itself. We are just saying that if you have dual nationality, to please not to hold public office in Pakistan.

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  • Jun 7, 2012 - 7:48AM

    Previously, two-faced persons worked and got away with it. All of a sudden, it has become a national problem. Why? Because people like Shaukat Aziz, Hafeez Shaikh are ex-employees of the Citibank and World Bank.

    Economically, we are worse off and there has been no change in the ever-impoverished status of the Pakistani citizens. Their loyalty is to the luxurious life they live there and the facilities and perquisites they enjoy.

    Salams to ‘what a country.’

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  • Naveed Javed
    Jun 7, 2012 - 10:15AM

    Does this describe PMLN’s stance on dual nationality or PMLN doing so just to show solidarity with CJ, in result opposing PPP’s and PTI’s stance on dual nationality?

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  • alamzaib
    Jun 7, 2012 - 12:00PM

    @Nazia Imran “We are just saying that if you have dual nationality, to please not to hold public office in Pakistan”

    i strongly disagree. if anything we should be encouraging overseas pakistanis to come and try to hold public office and bring some change. I would prefer an educated hardworking overseas pakistani over any corrupt politician –99.9% of whom have illgotten wealth.

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  • John
    Jun 7, 2012 - 2:36PM

    It is a waste of time on none important issue. The vital issue is whether the implementation of dual nationality was introduced before the election or not. Secondly what would be happened if the same practice should start in UK where over 300 councillors are Pakistani descendent? Thirdly if the new law of dual nationality is necessary to implement why not this should be passed through the National Assembly and this should be part of constitution. Fourthly when the respected members of assemblies took oath that time this new law was not introduced. What is the reason and why they are being penalised. We have other important issues in Pakistan where poor people do not get justice. If Judiciary is interested to introduce to restrict people of Pakistan only Pakistani Nationality then this should be imposed to the next election.

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  • Ali tanoli
    Jun 7, 2012 - 5:07PM

    They should make a law no bank will give loan to any army officer and MNA behalf of govt
    and no one allowed to have account in foriegn banks…

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