SC reserves judgment on dual nationalities of govt employees

September 24, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday reserved its judgment on a suo motu case regarding dual nationalities of government employees.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Umar Atta Bandial and Justice Ijazul Ahsan heard the suo motu notice.

As the hearing went under way, Justice Nisar remarked, “We have heard the arguments of court advisers and respondents in detail. There is one category of people who were born in foreign countries, a second category of those who went abroad to study and a third category which includes those who acquired dual nationality while they served on government posts.”

“Should all categories be treated in the same manner,” Justice Nisar then asked.

SC’s appointed adviser, Shahid Hamid, then stated, “The purpose of foreign citizenship is to make travel easier. Some people apply for foreign citizenship for their children and the top court should make a decision while keeping security concerns in mind.”

The SC adviser also said that dual nationals should not hold government offices. “It will be better if the court lets the Parliament and government make a decision in this regard,” he added.

“Till date no Pakistanis dual nationality has been revoked. The Lahore High Court had directed National Database Registration Authority (NADRA) against doing so,” he added.

At this point, Justice Umar Atta Bandial remarked, “Some posts require complete loyalty to the country. There are no objections to the dual nationalities of doctors and students.”

Justice Nisar then added, “Those who betrayed the nation and bought property abroad still hold government offices.”

The chief justice then remarked, “There should be no leniency towards those who malign the name of the country. The government has the authority to draft policies on this matter.”

To this, Justice Ijazul Ahsan added, “You cannot sail on two boats at once.”

The chief justice then asked, “If there is a ban on parliamentarians from holding dual nationality then why is it not on bureaucrats?”

Justice Nisar further said, “We will give recommendations to the government on dual nationalities of officials employees and will also express reservations on dual nationalities held by top office holders.”

After the respondents finished the arguments the court reserved its judgment on the case. INP