Dual nationality of public officials of the country’s top institutions formed the centre of discussion in the National Assembly session on Monday. Two NAB and one IB official hold dual nationality, the lower house was informed by the minister in-charge cabinet.
Two assistant directors in National Accountability Bureau (NAB) are dual nationals: Adnan Mehmood- a Norwegian and Muhammad Abbas Khan – an Australian national; whereas a 17 grade officer in the Intelligence Bureau (IB) Muhammad Zafar Iqbal is a Canadian national.
Whereas the Constitution bars dual nationals from becoming legislator, there is no such legal obstacle for government servants.
“We responded to a circular by the cabinet division regarding the status of dual nationals,” a NAB spokesman confirmed to The Express Tribune, adding that “No foreign nationals were serving in NAB in my knowledge.” These two officers might be among new recruits, he went on to say.
The IB officer Zafar Iqbal was reinstated into service under the Sacked Employees Act 2010. Minister in-charge cabinet division told the house that under the same act 1,456 employees were reinstated into service in IB.
Responding to questions raised by PPP MNA Azra Fazal Pechuho, the NA was moreover informed that no dual national was serving in eight divisions and ministries; however, response was awaited from 35 other divisions and ministries.
He also informed the house that eight non-elected members of NA and nine senators not belonging to Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) spent development funds under Peoples Works Programme (PWP)-I in FATA. The minister did not give the details of the funds spent.
About PWP-II, the minister added that those funds were released in compliance with Prime Minister’s directives.
MNAs of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) walked out of the NA in protest over the minister concerned not paying heed to their complaints about long power outages in their constituencies.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 30th, 2013.
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