Dual nationality: Punjab finance minister asked to vacate his seat

Rana Asif also holds Canadian citizenship; denies the party has asked him to resign.


Abdul Manan June 07, 2012

LAHORE:


Punjab Finance Minister Rana Asif, who was sworn in as the second minority minister in May, has been asked by his party, the PML-N, to resign from his ministerial slot as well from his Punjab Assembly seat for possessing dual nationality, sources told The Express Tribune.


However, when asked about the news by the media, Asif denied, saying that if his party leadership demands, he is “ready to sacrifice his life”.

The opposition in the Punjab Assembly (PA) on Tuesday had vociferously demanded Asif’s resignation for holding dual nationality. Pakistan Muslim League–Quaid’s MPA Samina Khawar Hayat had distributed excerpts of the Lahore High Court (LHC) ruling among lawmakers and demanded that the speaker bar Asif from presenting the provincial budget.

According to the LHC ruling, Asif had confessed that he is a Christian and a dual national since he also holds a Canadian nationality. 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 it of.

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

According to sources, Sanaullah on Wednesday presided over a meeting in which the law regarding dual nationality and recent rulings of the apex court were discussed in detail.

Senator Kamran Michael, who presented the Punjab budget last year, was the first Christian finance minister in the Punjab cabinet to have done so. The first three budgets were presented by Pakistan Peoples Party’s finance minister Tanvir Ashraf Kaira.

According to the rules of business, the chief minister can appoint anyone to make budget speech for fiscal year 2012-13.

Sources add that the PML-N is considering three candidates to present the provincial budget, including provincial Education Minister Mian Mujtaba Shujaul Rehman and Parliamentary Secretary on Law and Parliamentary Affairs Khalil Tahir Sindhu. The latter is a Christian MPA from Faisalabad.

Published In The Express Tribune, June 7th, 2012.

COMMENTS (3)

A.Bajwa | 9 years ago | Reply

What will you do if all the Pakistani abroad refuse to send remittances. When Government allowed dual nationality it did not put any restrictions.

Nida Rehman | 9 years ago | Reply

Another good job by PML-N!! Doing a wrong could be excused but by insisting on a wrongdoing is sinful. At least they have the courage to call a spade a spade!

On the other hand, PPP is clearly violating the constitution by not cleaning its ranks. See how, Rehman Malik has been lying to the Supreme Court by submitting a "written statement" that he had surrendered his British Nationalty in 2008 but he had no "clearance" from Department of Interior in UK endorsing this statement. Clearly, he was misrepresenting the facts. Another funny person is Farah Naz Isphahani, a US National. When her husband was Ambassador to USA, it was difficult to distinguish whether he was Pakistan's Ambassador or USA's Spokesman. In June 2009, he leaked his letter to the Indian Press that the Ambassador Haqqani wants to give open visas to US citizens but the ISI creates impediments.

Pakistan's High Commissioner to UK, Wajid Shamsul Hassan, is a british national.

Similarly, MPA of MQM, Nadia Gabol is a born British National who has spent most of her life in UK. She has come to Pakistan only to rule.

Then there are various other funny episodes;

The leader of a Karachi & Hyderabad-based party is a British National and has never come to Pakistan during the last 20 years, despite the fact that his party has been in government (both federal & provincial) for over 10 years. His party has the unique privelege of a member being longest tenure Governor of Sindh. But the leader is British.

The leader of an ethnic party lives in Dubai when his party has been in government at the federal level and in two provinces.

Another funny episode is a newly-found leader, whose 19year old daughter is US citizen and has never ever came to Pakistan and 14year old son is British National. This person has no moral authority to ask others to "bring their assets to Pakistan".

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