Dual nationality and hypocrisy

Published: July 15, 2012
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The writer is a London-based lawyer and tweets @ayeshaijazkhan

The writer is a London-based lawyer and tweets @ayeshaijazkhan

Things are bad in Pakistan. We have an exploding population, failing infrastructure, little hope for basic amenities or employment for the bulk of our people, a terrible law and order situation and rising militancy. So who do we blame? In reality, this is the result of a series of bad decisions and incompetence on the part of the military and civilian apparatus that has governed Pakistan over the years. However, it is far easier to scapegoat a small group rather than analyse the failings of entrenched powers. So we have decided that if only we rid ourselves of dual national parliamentarians, we will purge ourselves of those with dubious loyalty and be well on our way to progress.

We are nevertheless confused if applying this rule simply to parliamentarians will do the trick, or if we need to extend it to judges, bureaucrats, army officers and the like. At the same time, we also keep reminding our dual nationals abroad that their money is welcome in Pakistan and we may also give them the vote. It’s just that if they ever decide to contest for the legislature then their loyalty becomes an issue. Could there be a more hypocritical position?

Different countries deal with dual nationality differently. Some disallow it altogether, others discourage it and still others celebrate it. Of those that allow it, the UK and Canada come to mind as very open and comfortable with the concept, with Canada even boasting a prime minister who had dual nationality. Nevertheless, before we look to other countries, we need to recognise that few countries are as dependent on dual nationals as Pakistan. Not only in terms of much-needed remittances but also funding and expertise for all major philanthropic projects in Pakistan are inextricably linked to support from its dual nationals abroad.

Because this has become such an emotive subject, the media largely plays to the gallery and it is impossible to hear the other side, at least on the electronic medium. I will attempt to dispel some of the fallacious claims that have been made regarding dual nationals in these pages. First, a big deal has been made of the fact that in order to become a US citizen a person must take an oath and pledge to bear arms for the US. Of the many Pakistanis that have dual American and Pakistani citizenships has any ever borne arms against Pakistan? I can’t even think of one. However, I can unfortunately think of many single national Pakistanis who have killed Pakistanis in our bazaars and shrines, kidnapped them and looted them at gunpoint, raped women and abducted children. Curiously, however, I can also think of a dual national called Faisal Shahzad, who in spite of the oath, took up arms, not against Pakistan but against the US itself. This, too, is regrettable as violence in all its forms must be condemned, but the point is that a bureaucratic oath doesn’t suddenly reshape allegiances.

Second, much is made of the fact that remittances from the Middle East are greater than those from the West and the Middle East does not allow dual nationality. According to the Pakistan Institute for Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT), the remittances from the Middle East stand at 58 per cent. Thus, 42 per cent come from the West, which is nearly half. Moreover, the number of Pakistanis in the Middle East is many times that in the West so per person remittance is far higher from the West. In addition, it is incorrect to assume that everyone in the Middle East is a single national or that everyone in the West is a dual national. In fact, those with some of the best jobs in the Middle East who transfer the greatest amounts are often dual nationals of the US, the UK or Canada. Also very relevant is the fact that since the Middle East does not allow Pakistani charities to establish offices as the West does, organisations such as the Edhi Foundation, Citizen’s Foundation, Developments in Literacy and others are overwhelmingly remitting from the West. Hence, it would not be incorrect to assume that while remittances from the Middle East go largely to families, those from the West often go to philanthropic ventures.

Third, it is preposterous to assume that dual nationals only live abroad. Many reside in Pakistan and have done so for years. Others have moved back recently. Their contributions are even more valuable in terms of providing key expertise as lawyers, doctors, dentists, etc. Dual national doctors have served as senior bureaucrats in public hospitals in Pakistan very effectively. If we decide that it is kosher for them to do private practice in Pakistan and serve the rich but not work in public hospitals, we will only be discriminating against the poor.

Finally, much is made of the idea that a dual national will leave Pakistan if the country is in trouble. If this is true, then it will apply equally to those who are permanent residents of other countries, of which we have many more than simply dual nationals, who incidentally may not have taken an oath but have registered an intent to migrate to a foreign country. Moreover, these days anyone with money can easily get residency in another country whether it is Malaysia, Singapore, Canada, the US, the UK or the United Arab Emirates.

We need to stop demonising groups and start building Pakistan. Prominent political scientist Robert Dahl measures the effectiveness of a democracy on two dimensions — contestation and inclusiveness. While Pakistan may rank quite high on contestation since we openly condemn our leaders as “corrupt and traitorous”, we rank abysmally low on inclusiveness. It is very difficult to break down the barriers to entry in traditional Pakistani politics. Some who may have overcome this may in fact be dual nationals as they would have had to leave the country to make their money and gain enough expertise to be valued by the traditional setup. Alienating this self-made group would be counter-productive. Dual nationals who have effectively been funding all major charities in Pakistan and single nationals who have worked in the field, at times risking their lives to do so, must work together to overcome our grave problems. Let’s not doubt each other’s loyalty but deliver for the masses that have so little.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (68)

  • Arifq
    Jul 15, 2012 - 9:42PM

    Absolutely, 100% agree with the writer. Well said madam, but here lies the million dollar question, how will we change this “exclusive” club membership? Many have tried, perished or exiled, none has survived to tell the story!

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  • SharifL
    Jul 15, 2012 - 10:02PM

    I am surprised that most of the writers take one side or another. But in life one should mention both the sides for the readers to make their own conclusions.
    Let us talk about India. The Constitution of India does not permit dual citizenship or dual nationality, except for minors where the second nationality was involuntarily acquired. Indian authorities interpreted this to mean a person cannot have another country’s passport while simultaneously holding an Indian one, even the for a child claimed by another country as its citizen, who may be required by the laws of this country to use the corresponding passports for foreign travel (such as a child born in the United States to Indian parents). Indian courts have given the executive branch wide discretion over this matter.
    In 2005, India amended the 1955 Citizenship Act to introduce a form of overseas citizenship, which stops just short of full dual citizenship and is in all aspects, like Permanent Residency.
    Some countries, however, consider multiple citizenship desirable as it increases opportunities for their citizens to compete globally, and/or have taken active steps towards permitting multiple citizenship in recent years (such as Switzerland since and Australia.
    The bottom line is that each country decides what is best for it.
    This talk of Pakistanis remitting large amount of money has different reasons. Most of the people send money to support their families back home and not to be able to participate in internal affairs of Pakistan. It is true, however, that most of first pakistani generation dual nationals, are more attached to Pakistan than their country of residence.

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  • suraj
    Jul 15, 2012 - 10:20PM

    whether non-resident Pakistanis need dual nationalities or not, the politicians must need to have it to escape from the country after accumulating and safely depositing billions of dollars in foreign countries to enjoy rest of life..

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  • Javaid R. Shami
    Jul 15, 2012 - 10:25PM

    Well said, Ms. Khan.

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  • DevilHunterX
    Jul 15, 2012 - 10:56PM

    The PPP Self Defense Force are working overtime to defend their corrupts.

    Why not make it simple? Only those Dual Nationals who have contributed 100 Millions dollars to Pakistan through either by sending to their families or directly into Pakistan may be allowed for Pakistan parliament.

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  • Salma
    Jul 15, 2012 - 10:59PM

    this person continues to make far fetched comparisons like remittances etc to justify dual nationals to become ‘law makers’ – how irrelevant one can be!

    Maybe she fore sees future of many dual nationals in it. And now she goes a step ahead to call those who disagree as hypocrites.

    Yes what hypocricy when she instead of wanting the real men and women of Pakistan in the assemblies wants the foreign bred foreign educated lot. It’s a pity she doesn’t have a single argument for the rights of these ordinary women and men who should be representing (but don’t) but for her own ilk. So the point she is missing completely is it’s not a matter of loyalties it’s more than that; we want the kind of change when real people of Pakistan who live Pakistan day in day out represent; not the foreign (dual) nationals nor the typical feudals.

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  • Ali tanoli
    Jul 15, 2012 - 11:14PM

    Our thieves whether they are army or political parties or rich busnismen they transfered money to west or east not the dual nationals who transfers there hard working hard earned to pakistan to take care of there relatives now one can decide who are traitors ???

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  • Umer
    Jul 15, 2012 - 11:27PM

    You don’t need dual nationality to run abroad; anyone with as much money as our politicians can easily settle anywhere. Most countries welcome such wealthy people in their midst.

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  • Parvez
    Jul 15, 2012 - 11:36PM

    The argument being made by you is that Pakistan has multiple serious problems, let us focus on putting these right and not go into a fundamental issue of dual loyalty displayed by a person entrusted with making laws and privy to state secrets.
    When the late senior Mr. Z.A.Bhutto enacted this law he was very clear in his thinking. What you should be arguing is why this law has not been implemented for such a long time ? This is one of the serious problems and decidedly needed addressing.

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  • Abdulla diwana
    Jul 15, 2012 - 11:51PM

    I am one who don’t support dual nationality when it comes to elected representatives. If that is, who not confer Pakistani citizenship to Obama and make him President of Pakistan ? I am pretty sure he won’t mind shifting to Pakistan after he is defeated in US elections. Dual nationality is like polygamy and does not do any good to either of the spouse. Love and patriotism can not be divided.

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  • Babloo
    Jul 15, 2012 - 11:55PM

    Ayesha makes some good points. I would add, you dont become a member of senate, or assemblies or a minister or a judge or a general just because you have dual nationality. For politicians you still have to be elected and the person would have to jump into the tumultous and uncertain political life of Pakistan , in many cases giving up the comfortable life of the west. People acquire foreign nationality for economci, employment reasons. Some of those people are extremely patriotic and honest. Why deny yourself their services if they are so desirous ? Do you ask a doctors before he operats you if he has dual nationality ? In case of Pakistan dual nationality may inject some rationality and balance to the politics.

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  • Ali tanoli
    Jul 16, 2012 - 12:05AM

    @Babloo
    Tax free life and all the free luxeries in india and pakistan any Rich can migrate easlly.

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  • Abdulla diwana
    Jul 16, 2012 - 12:06AM

    Author is trying to use the same marketing tools which British used to do while ruling India. If competence alone is the criteria, please auction the president ship of Pakistan to anyone from any country in the world. You will find many worthy candidates who will be willing to come over to Pakistan and become Pakistani (surely for the duration of residency and if not forever). Running a country is not like a Bollywood movie that you can have singers and actors from anywhere. Down with dual nationality when it comes to running the affairs of nation. I will prefer a relatively incompetent 100% Pakistani man/ woman to be the the president than a most competent dual national.

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  • Adnan Hussain
    Jul 16, 2012 - 12:12AM

    There are many points with which i disagree in the case of dual nationality it is good to give right of vote to overseas Pakistanis but in the case of becoming member of parliament it is not acceptable the reason is not the loyalty but the reason is we are not living in ideal sitution where we can say, if there would be case of national security the dual national parlimantarian will vote in favour of Pakistan’s interest we have tried shukat aziz who had intrest in pakistan just to become PM after that he left country Taj Hider contributed very great piece in this paper which gives real scence why should we should not support dual nationality bill he has quated ZA Bhutto and in my view todays PPP forgoten the words of bhutto but the founding members still remember this

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  • BADurrani
    Jul 16, 2012 - 1:26AM

    The fact of the matter is you can not be 100% loyal to two countries. therefore elected and non elected government officials must be Pakistani citizens and hold no other nationality. The same rule should apply for any politician who wishes to be politically active in Pakistan.

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  • Pashtun voice
    Jul 16, 2012 - 3:23AM

    Why don’t you guys allow the electorate to decide if they want to vote for a dual national or not?

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  • Jul 16, 2012 - 3:28AM

    well argued article ,yet lacks justification fr allowing dual nationals to contest.though a few duals has sown seeds of mistrust in pakistan due to their dubious role in pakistan.They r mostly installed by politicians n military dcttors on lucrative posts .shaukat aziz,rehman malik,current finance minister n othr dual national legislatures.so we should sortout these culprits frm others.here i also remind the writer that remittances should’nt be issue as repeated.for instance any one cd argue that itz a pakistan whch gave thm nationality thrgh whch they r enjoying respect in foreign countries .so tht shd’nt be argued as argued before.simply there shd be sme constraints n restrictions on dual nationals rathr than out rightly rejecting their right to contest elections in pakistan.i m of opinion that no good samaritan will thnk to contest election in near future.inlast ticket awarding party leadershp should be made responsible fr any misconduct of dual national legislature.constituition should be amended in tht respect .

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  • Selvam
    Jul 16, 2012 - 6:23AM

    The dual nationality problem is similar for most nations.
    Allow it for normal citizens; forbid it for all higher public office holders in sensitive positions, including the army, police and the bureaucracy.
    Simple.Recommend

  • Saleem
    Jul 16, 2012 - 7:45AM

    Naturalization Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America:

    “I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the armed forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”

    So if a US Citizen of Pakistani origin has to take up arms against Pakistan then he/she will have no choice but to do so. So tell me one more time how you think that a naturalized US citizen can be considered loyal to Pakistan?

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  • Mirza
    Jul 16, 2012 - 8:18AM

    I agree 100% with the author, thanks for a well written and logical Op Ed. For those who compare the working Pakistanis with the dual nationals in the West miss an imp fact. The big majority in M. East cannot keep their family with them that forces them to send money regularly to their families. On the other hand most in West have their families with them and still they send lot of money to Pakistan. I know ordinary working people in the US who give money to many people and causes regularly. Despite keeping their families with them they send huge amounts back home, yet these so-called “traitors” still call that home while enjoying a much better and safer lives with more rights than they ever had in Pakistan!
    To put it crudely the attitude of Pakistanis has been “give us the money and just shut up”. They do not want to learn how to stand up on their own two feet. They want fish regularly from the West including dual nationals but not ready to learn fishing. By not having a few dual nationals in parliament, the country would become a haven. The take-home lesson for the dual nationals is, forget back home where you are not welcome and enjoy life that God has bestowed upon you. You are suspect in Pakistan, please don’t become suspect in your new home as well!

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  • Anonymous
    Jul 16, 2012 - 8:33AM

    Very sensible article
    I agree and consider it hypocrisy that you can vote but you cannot contest. Egypt has law that if you have parent or child with dual nationality you cannot contest election. I am 1000% sure that if dual nationals were PPP voters all the hypcrites had been shouting on roof tops that dual nationals should should not be allowed to vote.
    Khalid Saheb yesterday had written nice article about that.
    I hope that government should copy Egypt law that citizens of Pakistan whose children have single or double foreign nationality should not be allowed to contest election in addition to current provision.
    Where is data that dual nationals are harming Pakistan where data other way round is available .

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  • Ali Ashfaq
    Jul 16, 2012 - 9:12AM

    Dual Nationals shouldn’t be allowed to contest elections. This will stop importing the imported PMs like Shoukat Aziz etc

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  • usman
    Jul 16, 2012 - 9:59AM

    Overseas Pakistani can vote in next election to party of choice and if someone of them want to become member he must renounce his /her citizenship. This is choice not compulsion. Those who don’t want to take risk must not allow to paticipitate in election because somewhere in back of their mind there is fear about the future of country. Foreign nationality in that case is backup. Leaders live and sink with their people only rats on sensing( no doubt they have excellent sense) sinking of ship leave it as they have backup plan not the captain.

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  • Ali
    Jul 16, 2012 - 10:02AM

    The American oath asks people to afffirm that they will bear arms for the state IF REQUIRED BY THE LAW. However, the law that allowed the American govt to conscript its citizzens into the army was scrapped in 1975. so now the US govt has no authority to force people to bear arms. for the state

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  • Pakistani
    Jul 16, 2012 - 10:44AM

    After reading the article, I still believe politicians should not be allowed to hold dual nationalities. Although it won’t stop them from pursuing the agenda of maximizing their wealth. But it still gives out a good message that your future is dependent on the future of your country.

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  • DevilHunterX
    Jul 16, 2012 - 11:41AM

    Is Bilawal Zardari a dual national?

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  • Aammar
    Jul 16, 2012 - 11:44AM

    i think we exaggerate everything,services of dual nationals citizens for Pakistan can never be denied nor someone is putting question mark on their loyalties eliminating few.As the democratic process is just started in Pakistan moreover perhaps country is passing through its toughest time its better that at least the executive posts in policy makers and defense related institutions must have only Pakistani nationals it ll be helpful to decrease ambiguity among common people of Pakistan……………..

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  • Asif khokher
    Jul 16, 2012 - 12:01PM

    Let us be rational, and three Points only:

    In general, Dual Nationals is not a issue, however, when they take oath in USA/UK and Pakistan both, then they are to be questioned that which one they take as priority. Pakistan has relations with USA/UK which can not be isolated, so while working in any capacity in Govt of Pakistan, how they can assure to Pakistani general public about their 100% sincerity to Pakistan before being elected?

    Most of dual nationals have assets in the foreign countries. This is often stated by Imran Khan that any one wishing to be elected to Pakistani Parliament must have all assets in Pakistan. So how dual nationals can assure Pakistanis in this regard ?

    If Dual Nationals can pledge that they will live even for 10 years in Pakistan after being elected to parliament then should be welcomed.

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  • Ammar
    Jul 16, 2012 - 12:33PM

    @SharifL:
    Irrespective of the reason why they send money back home, the bottom line is they are sending billions back. Comparing Pakistan with other countries is not justifiable, every country is different from the other. A lot of people compare Pakistan with India but they do not realize that India is not a new country and existed before 1947, the Indian decent people are all over the world since British Raj time. Countries like South Africa, Kenya, Trinidad, Fiji, Malaysia, Singapore have sizeable Indian population living there from early 1900’s so if India has a strict dual nationality law it makes sense. No country will allow millions of people coming back and claiming nationality because their great great grand father was a national. Pakistan is a 67 year old country, Pakistanis who initially migrated from Mirpur and Jhelum to UK were encouraged by the then government and there were reasons behind it.

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  • Ammar
    Jul 16, 2012 - 12:48PM

    @Salma:
    The ordinary Pakistanis have elected two pakistani parties to power in last 24 years, PPP and PML N. I assume that ordinary Pakistanis in 1988 knew that Benazir’s english was better than her Urdu and she was westren educated, they also knew in 2008 that Mian Nawaz Sharif’s son lives in London and has a massive business set up over here. Ordinary Pakistanis also know today that Bilawal Bhutoo Zardari has sepent most of his life abroad and is very westrenized, those following Imran Khan also know that he has two british sons, so please dont talk about ordinary Pakistanis. They dont care about dual nationality. Are you planning to participate in elections? will you vote for any of the above mentioned parties? if yes then please stop complaing, If no then please register your own party and ask ordinary Pakistanis to join it and vote for you.

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  • Muhammad Panah Gohar
    Jul 16, 2012 - 1:03PM

    I agree with madam! that all remittances come from foreign countries, she coded the Canadian prime minister even hold dual citizenship that is great! but Pakistan is developing country and political authorities is the hand of corrupt landlords, no supremacy of law, therefore dual nationality is not allow for the politicians.

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  • Lala Gee
    Jul 16, 2012 - 1:20PM

    @Author:

    In stead of commenting to each of every point of your article which have already been thoroughly answered in several op-eds and news articles, I ask you only one question.

    Why it is so difficult for the dual nationality holders to forfeit their acquired second nationality before taking the oath of a Pakistani Parliamentarian, if the sole objective is to serve your country of birth.

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  • Jugnoo
    Jul 16, 2012 - 1:55PM

    very good piece of article …

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  • Mustafa Kamal Khan
    Jul 16, 2012 - 2:32PM

    Well, you can’t label a person with a dual nationality as a traitor or someone who will escape the country in case of trouble nor can you say that a person with a single nationality will be loyal to the country.

    Sorry to say, Ms. Khan only theoritically discussed the issue of dual nationality by giving examples of developed countries. She failed to realize the intention of those that want this change in legislation to allow dual nationality, which is sensed by the loyal countrymen.

    Wish you could think common to what a middle class person opines!

    Still, i would say your article was quite informative :)

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  • Anjum Kiani
    Jul 16, 2012 - 2:38PM

    How on Earth can the US Oath off citizenship & Oath to take office in #Pakistan be reconciled with eachother! Dual nationals from many nations can be called for military service & training at any time

    PakDualNationals should be given all facility to participate in Pakistan apart from holding Public office

    Allow dual nationality..allow right to vote but deny right to take any office of Oath until nationality is given up

    The issue is not to measure the patriotism & contributions of #PakDualNationals. It is to stop a conflict of interest Btween various natnls.

    Due to the Possible Conflict of Interest , the #PakDualNationals should morally refuse to refuse to participate in the Election Process.

    Is it not strange that the party that is pushing for the bill their leader Zulfikar Ali Bhutto said : expatriates are loyal neither to their country of birth nor to the country of adoption. They are loyal only to their own narrow self interests

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  • Hamid
    Jul 16, 2012 - 3:13PM

    People who leave their country for greener pastures due to lack of chances, suffering, insecurity or for better economics facilities will leave the country again as they were not able to cope the problems at the prime of their lives and passports which is their safety insurance card. A weak individual and who left the others in suffering can not lead the country and can not imagine suffering of people who are passing through on daily basis. Hence, they should not even dream to become legislators.

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  • bilal khan
    Jul 16, 2012 - 3:38PM

    The million dollar question is, how do we bring the dual nationals to justice? Once they are not in power, they pick their suitcase and go outside Pakistan. Despite repeated attempts, we could not bring Hussain Haqqani and Mansoor Ejaz to the courts. My questions is simple. If need arises, will the other country cooperate to ensure dispensation of justice?

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  • Muhammad Hafeez
    Jul 16, 2012 - 3:47PM

    @ Author:

    You can only mention two countries who allow dual nationals to become member of their legislative, but both of them allow only those nationals who did not obtained the nationality of any other country after obtaining the nationality of their country, for them the last oath of loyalty is what that matter.

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  • Salma
    Jul 16, 2012 - 4:21PM

    @Lala Gee: why would she – it’s conflict of interest –

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  • Manoj Joshi
    Jul 16, 2012 - 4:52PM

    The issue of dual nationality is becoming apparently a point of discord within The Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Indeed the nation is passing through a difficult phase in terms of economic and constitutional parameters hence the issue of dual nationality is apparently being used as a pretext to divert their national attention. This shadow boxing is a common political phenomena in every nation as and when needed and Pakistan is no exception. The writer Ayesha Ijaz Khan has rightly pointed out that using dual nationality as a tool to blame the non-resident people of Pakistan would not be appropriate and justified as it is their money that has added to the exchequer of the state. The United States of America and The United Kingdom have many people from Pakistan living who are enjoying the dual citizenship status but they have been contributing towards the economic progress of their nation too and this needs to be understood by their federal government. However, this remains an internal matter of The Islamic Republic of Pakistan and hence it will be best for their Federal Government to decide and enact comprehensive acts in accordance. Although the writer’s opinion that making an issue of dual nationality if renounced will be in the national interest of Pakistan.

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  • Kanwal
    Jul 16, 2012 - 4:59PM

    “Dual nationality and hypocrisy

    The problem is, the masses dont want the corrupt elite of pakistan to have safe havens other than pakistan. They already have amassed enough wealth to secure themselves anywhere in the world. They cant have enough, can they?
    I dont want dual nationals in my assemblies, big posts, courts and in armed forces.
    No way

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  • Nazakat Ali
    Jul 16, 2012 - 4:59PM

    100% Disagree with writer.Recommend

  • Asad Baig
    Jul 16, 2012 - 5:12PM

    Very Well Written Article.Pakistan has been Destroyed by Single Nationality Holders politicians i.e Corrupt Politicians.Those who are saying that those having Pakistani nationality are sincere towards Pakistan,please explain why have the Single Nationality people have looted and plundered Pakistan Right, Left and Center for 65 Years.!!!This does not hold true in Pakistan at least,I am seeing this loot and plunder of Pakistan for more than 3 decades(over 30 years) by these single nationality holders!!!
    We should stop Fooling Ourselves and Others on False claims.History of Pakistan is exact opposite of this,Single Nationality Holders have already sold Pakistan many times in the last 65 years and they want to take out every drop of blood what ever is left on claiming they are sincere towards Pakistan.No Sincere Pakistani Will Buy this!!!They have looted and plundered Pakistan at will. Actions speak louder than words!!!
    Dual Nationality people are mostly honest,sincere people and they Love Pakistan More.They are thousand times better than our corrupt politicians who have single nationality!!!.Dual nationality people can serve Pakistan in an honest and better way than those having Pakistani nationality,who only want to loot and plunder Pakistan.These people(Dual Nationality) have already been screened out by the western countries of their character/honesty.Alas Our Corrupt Politicians Who Have No Love For Pakistan Will Never Allow Honest and Sincere people to Rule Pakistan so that they can continue their Loot and Plunder of Pakistan Forever.

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  • Bakhtiar Wain
    Jul 16, 2012 - 6:22PM

    The analogies used in the article have no relevance. Considering US allows China to buy their bonds (which essentially is a bailout as China is the single largest accumulator of US treasuries), would US law allow dual nationality Chinese to participate in presidential elections? Having said that, every individual can have a point of view and the job of legistlature is to crystallize laws by deliberating and debating all options. The dual nationality issue in Pakistan has two disctint set of problems which need to be handled separately. First one is penalising an individual who lied under oath knowing fully well that dual nationality disqualifcation law exists; dont think one can have any sympathy to such deliquents. The second problem is deliberating whether the law is fair or not; parliment has absolute right to amend any law and its the right of everyone to give arguments to support ones cause. However working on amendment in haste or as a reaction to protect disqualification of lying parlimentarians is not really the right legislatory spirit…….

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  • Anticorruption
    Jul 16, 2012 - 6:50PM

    A very good piece. Most of the leaders that have misruled Pakistan (be it generals or politicians) were Pakistani citizens without any dual citizenship. Moreover, even now, someone like Zardari or Bilawal does not need dual citizenship to escape the country. Nor do I see a person like Hussain Haqqani ever getting hindered by such a thing. What a restriction on dual nationals holding public offices will do, however, is to block those who genuinely want to come back and give something to Pakistan by telling them that they are no longer welcome unless they give up all their career and financial security they have so pain stakingly built. Will the people who are ranting and raving against dual nationals guarantee that someone who returns to the country, gives up their foreign passport and brings all their assets to Pakistan in order to get a certificate of patriotism from them not be seriously burned for their efforts? It’s not that we don’t have a history in this regard. Over the decades, many expat Pakistanis have tried returning to Pakistan in order to serve their country but ended up being badly frustrated and harassed. Expecting people to give up their career and financial security is not only unfair but also a very bad management practise (no organization or system can prosper in this manner).

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  • Lala Gee
    Jul 16, 2012 - 6:57PM

    @Asad Baig:

    Nobody here is saying that dual nationality holders are less patriotic. The real problem with dual nationality holders is legal and ethical than anything else. The legal issue which author being a lawyer totally ignored is taking the oath as a member of Pakistan parliament in which you pledge your total unconditional allegiance with the state and constitution of Pakistan. Now the legal and moral question is how can you take the oath of a Member of Pakistan’s Parliament while you have already sworn your allegiance with another country. This is clearly illegal and unethical because by doing so, you are committing an act of dishonesty, cheating and lying

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  • Lala Gee
    Jul 16, 2012 - 7:00PM

    @Bakhtiar Wain:

    Very logical comment.

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  • Asad Baig
    Jul 16, 2012 - 7:52PM

    @Lala Gee :
    Who will decide Who is ethical and who is not.Ethical in Pakistan!!!.Please lets not get into this,do who have single nationality proved their worth to Pakistan, they have sold out Pakistan many times,you can believe them but not people like me.Did they not SELL Pakistan over and over again? Where was Single Nationality Oath,Ethics and Loyalty towards Pakistan?
    According to you they were not/will be under pressure as you claim Dual Nationality People will be.If what you say is true than please can you ask them why have they sold Pakistan in last 65 Years!!!
    I would request you to please get your facts straight before Jumping to concuslions.Please go and read history of Pakistan again.It seems you are too young to understand that, what’s going on in Pakistan for 65 years.These people want to fool us again and again. Pakistan can never grow if Corrupt People like these are elected again and again who have actual No Love for Pakistan thier only agenda is to loot and plunder Pakistan by saving their seats in one way or other.

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  • observer
    Jul 16, 2012 - 7:54PM

    If a Justice can remain true to his allegiance to the Constitution of Pakistan, while holding dual nationality, why not everyone else?

    On second thoughts, the allegiance of the Judiciary to the Constitution leaves much to be desired.

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  • Mirza
    Jul 16, 2012 - 8:21PM

    M. Ali the most famous born US citizen who was forced drafted in the US army refused to pick up arms and join the army against the Vietnam. He was sent to jail and his title taken away. The US SC, gave a verdict in Ali’s favor due to his personal and religious beliefs. That is the law of the land and nobody can force any citizen to go against their religion, conscience or will to join the army. However, once a person joins the army then there are different set of laws since they have willingly joined the army in the first place. So all the bogus argument that a 40, 50, 60 or 70 years old Pakistani would be forced to fight against Pakistan has no parallel in recent history.

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  • Nouman
    Jul 16, 2012 - 9:09PM

    In love for a PCO judge – the PML N stance is going to back fire – today or later. I am convinced of the fact that the PML N’s top leadership seldom think before speech. If the nationals of Israel can keep dual nationalities with other countries for the best interest of Israel – there should be no harm for Pakistanis. 15 billions dollars worth of foreign exchange is send t Pakistan regally and the she amount by other means annually by Pakistanis having permanent resident all over the world. Don’t just discard them, they are as patriots as our civilians and armed forces.Recommend

  • Mobeen
    Jul 16, 2012 - 9:19PM

    If we look at the background of the dual nationality saga, we would come to know that even established democracies of the world have no issue with any public office holder who is a dual national. We have a few examples from established democracies of the world. Arnold Schwarzenegger retained his Austrian citizenship during his service as the governor of California. Former Canadian Prime Minister John Turner was a dual citizen born in the UK; there was no issue about his dual citizenship and holding public office. In Pakistan, there should be a debate on the issue of dual citizenship. Parliament should decide the issue and legislate as we have practical examples of established democracies of the world.

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  • Raja Islam
    Jul 16, 2012 - 10:31PM

    @suraj: The politicians who have taken the money and escaped overseas were not dual nationals. It is not difficult to find residence in another country if you have the money.

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  • Raja Islam
    Jul 16, 2012 - 10:33PM

    @Salma:
    If it is a matter of choice, I would always take the Harvard, Oxford or Cambridge educated foreign national over the madarsa educated local villager in the parliament.

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  • Raja Islam
    Jul 16, 2012 - 10:34PM

    @Abdulla diwana:
    What makes you think that someone like President Obama would want to become president of a failed state like Pakistan?

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  • Raja Islam
    Jul 16, 2012 - 10:36PM

    @BADurrani:
    This is assuming that there is a conflict or war between two countries. The question of divided loyalty comes only when there are conflicting interests.

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  • Ali
    Jul 16, 2012 - 10:36PM

    Rehman Malik, Farahnaz Ispahani. Amna Buttar, Muhammad Akhlaq and Ahmed Ali Shah were the MPs recently suspended. Does anyone have evidence based on their voting records, speeches in parliament and outside which shows that these people were more disloyal, and corrupt than the average Pakistani legislator? why are supporters of the ban unable to provide solid evidence based on the past even though so many dual citizens have served in Pakistan’s parliament.? and if you ask people to give evidence, they give names like Shaukat aziz, moeen qureshi and haqqani, none of whom are dual citizzens (please google with the names of thes epeople with word citizen for proof). the case of these people show that even non-dual citizen pakistanis have the ability to run away.

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  • Sajjad Ahmed
    Jul 16, 2012 - 10:37PM

    Agree to all of it. But the main question on which whole legislation and debate is built upon (neither validating nor questioning it being right or wrong) is yet un-answered.
    How to ensure that a dual national will stay in touch with Pakistan and will not visit it to rule only? (as it has happened in the past).
    I think ..
    one.. that the legislation should not be pushed in any haste, its a matter concerning millions of Pakistanis.
    two.. dual nationals be given all rights as for single nationals of Pakistan. And legislation be framed ensuring the person’s commitment. Things like declaration of assets both in Pakistan and abroad, some control over assets transfer while the person is serving Pakistan in some political capacity.. and things like that.

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  • Raja Islam
    Jul 16, 2012 - 10:38PM

    @irshad memon:
    Memon sahib, it is hard enough for Pakistani nationals to get visit visas for most countries let alone enjoying respect. Many overseas Pakistanis call themselves Indians as that nationality gets them way more respect than the Pakistani one.

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  • Raja Islam
    Jul 16, 2012 - 10:39PM

    @Saleem:
    Why do you assume that Pakistan will be at war with the United States? By the way a dual nationality holder in the US can run for office. The only office that is prohibited is that of the President as it is reserved for US nationals by birth alone.

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  • Raja Islam
    Jul 16, 2012 - 10:43PM

    @Asif khokher:
    Many Pakistan nationals including the current president and Imran Khan have assets overseas. Why don’t you bring these back first before asking dual nationals to repatriate all their assets to Pakistan.

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  • Raja Islam
    Jul 16, 2012 - 10:46PM

    @Lala Gee:
    The only reason is that in case you have to leave, you have a way out. Most people who have obtained foreign nationality and are settled abroad would have ties in their new home state. Given the option to raise a family and to provide their children with a safe environment, they would not choose Pakistan over the west.

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  • Raja Islam
    Jul 16, 2012 - 10:48PM

    @bilal khan:
    How about the non-dual nationals who lived abroad? There are many good examples of these.

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  • Azad
    Jul 17, 2012 - 3:14PM

    The argument should be very simple, instead of Loyal, Ethical, Honest etc.
    If Dual National or Person Holding any other Citizenship then Pakistan and willing to serve “KHIDMAT KURNA CHAHTA HOON” Pakistan, he should be most welcome in any field, (there are hundreds and thousands), but why Presidency, PM House or Parliament, and that also for 3,4 or 5 years ???

    Name a single MNA, MPA, SENETOR (including Rs.100 Aitaizaz Ahsan) who has not “Benefited” during the “Serving” of Pakistani Nation, while seated/selected by what they call “17 caror Awam” !!

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  • Salma
    Jul 18, 2012 - 2:44AM

    @Raja ji madraasa offer only 1 percent education – get ur facts right – and getting a foreign degree doesn’t make anyone a dual national.

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  • ishrat salim
    Jul 18, 2012 - 12:55PM

    The writer is trying to confuse facts.the amount of remittances as per the SBP is more authentic & not PILDAT…& people with dual nationalities in ME especially in KSA is very negligible & their families are all living outside due to various reasons especially education….& if one happens to meet them in social circles…they will maintain that they are Canadians, USA ( mostly as UK allows allows dual nationality as member of CWealth ) & not Pakistani….the writer is obviously a ” dual national ” & wants to justify…well ! she is welcome but cannot become member of Parliament…that is all that we want.Recommend

  • mystreeman
    Jul 18, 2012 - 9:29PM

    There is a saying, have one’s cake and eat it too; it aptly applies to those dual nationals who want to be in Pakistan parliament. No. it is not on. Those who are living in Pakistan and facing the turmoil and striving to take Pakistan out of it would never accept that a truant appears and sit at the helm of affairs in Pakistan.

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  • ishrat salim
    Jul 19, 2012 - 1:46PM

    Dual nationals sends money to Pakistan, out of compulsion due to the presence of some family members like father / mother, sisters & brothers etc; & not for the love for Pakistan….these dual nationals will never turn up to fight for the country, so where is that sence of Patriotism…Mirza Sb & like ?

    Mirza Sb & like..in the first place why was this clause put in constitution & which govt revived the 1973 constituton ? then when SC started to rule against such person by applying 63 C (1 )…the govt & its supporters woke up now…did these MPs not aware of such clause ? is this not purjury to misdeclare & then when SC takes notice on a petition, they are criticised…was this clause in constitution made by SC ? Mirza Sb & like..give a break..will you.Recommend

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