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dual nationality

Your job or your second nationality?

LAHORE: The Supreme Court (SC) today asked the federal and provincial governments to set deadlines for dual national officials to either give up their jobs or the second nationality.
The SC bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, passed the directions while announcing a reserved verdict regarding dual nationality of government officials. The court held that in the majority of cases, apparently the acquisition of foreign nationalities during service by the citizens was aimed to securely dispatch ill-gotten gains and relocate their families or themselves during service or after retirement. Such individuals deserved no leniency, it added.
The SC said it was intended to send a strong signal to all government officials that they must not deceive the country by breaking the trust that they have been bestowed upon by virtue of their office. Rules/regulations in that regard might be amended by the federal and provincial governments, preferably in conjunction with each other, the court observed. In its 52-page detailed judgment, the bench also gave various proposals to the federal and provincial governments and the parliament regarding the appointment of dual nationality holders as officials.
The court asked the governments to consider formulation of negative lists of posts in government service, autonomous/semi-autonomous organizations, where citizens holding dual nationality or married to dual nationals, should not be appointed for safeguarding national interest, except for with the permission of the respective cabinets or organizations. The court further asked for placing the list of dual nationals or married to dual nationality holders and posts held by them, before the parliament, respective governments or organizations at the end of each financial year. The court asked the federal and provincial governments to consider imposing a complete ban on employment of foreigners/ non-citizens (of Pakistani or non-Pakistani origin) in the government service.
The court also asked the governments to develop criteria regarding employment of non-citizens in government service, where relaxation from general prohibition was necessary in the public interest, besides preparation of negative lists of posts in this regard. The bench asked the governments for developing criteria requiring disclosure of the intent to seek such foreign nationalities, and adopting methods to check such instances and enforcing penalties for nondisclosure. The bench had reserved its verdict in the case pertaining to dual nationalities of government officers on September 24. In January, the chief justice had taken up a Suo Motu case about senior government officers as well as members of the judiciary holding dual nationality.

M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.