Aitzaz Ahsan, Raza Rabbani oppose dual nationality bill in Senate

ANP, PML-N stage walkouts to protest against the bill.

Web Desk July 10, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Senior Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leaders and senators Aitzaz Ahsan and Raza Rabbani opposed the dual nationality amendment bill presented in the Senate on Tuesday, Express News reported.

Coalition partner Awami National Party (ANP) and opposition party Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) staged walkouts to protest against the bill.

Speaking during the session, Ahsan said that whenever a person became a United States (US) national, they take an oath which bounds them to be loyal to the country and take part in wars if needed.

He asked why the US was listed among 16 countries Pakistan had an agreement with if it had such clauses in the oath.

Senator Raza Rabbani seconded Ahsan and opposed the bill as well. The two senators also said that the dual nationality bill must be reviewed.

Earlier, Senator Haji Adeel of the Awami National Party (ANP) had moved a privilege motion against the 22nd  Amendment to the Constitution regarding the dual nationality bill.

Senator Adeel had argued that a 22nd Amendment could not come into place as there was no 21st Amendment made to the Constitution.

In reply to Adeel’s stance, Law Minister Farooq H Naek had said that the contempt of court bill which was passed in the National Assembly’s Monday session was actually the 21st Amendment. Hence, there was no violation of laws and rules.

Naek had presented the bill before the Senate and it was referred to the Parliamentary Committee on Law and Justice.

The amendment in Article 63 (1) (c) will allow the parliamentarians to hold dual nationalities for 16 countries with which Pakistan is in agreement with.

Agreeing with the ANP senator, PML-N's Zafar Ali Shah had said that previously, none of the civilian, as well as the military governments had not made an amendment to Article 63 (1) (c), however the incumbent government was willing to bring this amendment into place.

Senator Adeel had moved the privilege motion on individual basis.

Speaking to the media after the Senate session, Senator Adeel said that the wordings of the bill presented in the Senate today was contradictory to what had been discussed in ANP’s meeting with President Asif Ali Zardari and the coalition partners.

“During the meeting, consensus was reached on ANP proposed amendments to the bill drafts that a dual national cannot hold any important public office, including the offices of the president and prime minister, key posts in the military, judiciary, bureaucracy and other sensitive departments.”

Earlier, the ANP, which is a key ally in the ruling coalition had refused to support the dual nationality bill and had proposed some changes in the draft bill.

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Humayun Akhtar | 8 years ago | Reply

Are we not bent upon creating issues afresh when we already have plenty around awaiting resolution. The number of Pakistanis holding duel nationality is small. There are no reliable figures available but I suspect it is no more than 500,000. In the UK over 95% persons of Pakistani origin (from appx.1 M) holding duel nationality are from AK. In the Europe their number is no more than 50,000. Out of these the 2nd and 3rd generation has no wish to come to Pakistan permanently given its geo, socio and political situation lased with religious strife. Further 99.9% Pakistanis working in the Middle East hold PK nationality. If at all this issue is so burning and important needing immediate attention then why not to establish a commission with properly drawn out terms of reference and asking for its recommendations for consideration in a more rational manner. But then it is a sensible approach and we as Pakistanis are not accustomed to it. For there is no sanity left . Rememer any law made to protect the interests of a minority is a bad law

Umar | 8 years ago | Reply

@Nadeem Ahmad,

Wrong, wrong, wrong ! I have been a dual national all my life and I know many, many dual nationals. Anybody who thinks that dual nationals are the source of Pakistans income is complete confused and mistaken.

no the difference between dual nationals and overseas Pakistani's. If the government wants to do something right give special representation to overseas Pakistani's that will cover the dual nationals as well.

If and when I want to hold public office in Pakistan, I would happily give up my other citizenship.

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