Pakistani panel rejects provision for dual nationality to lawmakers
A Pakistan parliamentary committee has accepted a proposal to give voting rights to Pakistanis with dual nationalities, but rejected their right to contest general elections.
Islamabad: A Pakistan parliamentary committee has accepted a proposal to give voting rights to Pakistanis with dual nationalities, but rejected their right to contest general elections.
National Assembly's Standing Committee on Law, Justice and Human Rights in a meeting held yesterday rejected the part of the Twenty-Fourth Amendment Bill-2014 recommending permission to Pakistanis holding dual nationalities to contest elections.
The committee, however, approved the part proposing their right to vote.
The draft bill was introduced in the assembly in October by S A Iqbal Qadri of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).
"A majority of the members rejected the provision of allowing dual nationality for parliamentarians," Qadri told Dawn.
The bill sought amendments to Articles 51, 63 and 106 of Pakistan's Constitution.
The committee said: "It is hereby clarified that the right of a citizen of Pakistan to vote shall remain unaffected in case the citizen of Pakistan acquires the nationality/ citizenship of any country permitted under the Pakistan Citizenship Act 1951, or any other successor law in force or any letter, order, notification, rule or subordinate/delegated legislation, made or issued there-under."
The MQM had also proposed an amendment to Article 63-1(c) which says: "A person shall be disqualified from being elected or chosen as, or being a member of the Majlis-i-Shoora (parliament) if he ceases to be a citizen of Pakistan, or acquires the citizenship of a foreign state."
The draft bill had suggested that the words "except a country or a state in respect of which the acquisition of dual nationality/citizenship is permissible under the Pakistan Citizenship Act 1951 or any other successor law in force or any letter, order, notification, rule" be added to the article.
Last year, a Supreme Court bench headed by the then Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry had ruled that any person having dual nationality cannot become a member of the parliament.
It had also decided to look within its own institution for those possessing dual nationalities.