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Pak peons, gardeners told to declare dual nationality

Last Updated: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - 13:04

Islamabad: Many Pakistani lawmakers, including Interior Minister Rehman Malik, recently came under fire for holding dual nationality. Now, doctors, gardeners, peons and sanitary workers have been asked to submit a declaration that they are not citizens of two nations.

In a circular, the Punjab province administration asked all government officials, including doctors, gardeners, peons and sanitary workers to submit a declaration certificate, the Dawn reported.

Though no reason was been cited in the circular, the daily said the move was meant to discourage officials from acquiring dual nationality.

Legal experts, however, said there was no logic to check the nationality of lower-grade workers like gardeners and sanitary workers.

"Only Pakistani nationals should be appointed in public service and it will stop those officers who have dual nationality. But checking peons` and gardeners` dual nationality is a strange move," Sajid Ilyas Bhatti, president of the Rawalpindi Bar Association, was quoted as saying.

"If a lower-grade government staff had dual nationality then he will have no reason to work in the country for a few rupees. So, the government should revise its notification to release the lower staff and apprehend politicians and bureaucrats," he said.

In September, Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry had asked the Election Commission of Pakistan to obtain fresh declarations from lawmakers regarding their dual nationality.

The Young Doctors Association Punjab condemned the "futile exercise" of checking the dual nationality of doctors and health staff, terming it was waste of time.

A Punjab government spokesman said he was unaware of the circular issued by the government, and even if such a circular was issued, it was just "a matter of routine".


First Published: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - 13:04

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