ISLAMABAD: The retired bureaucrats of the country hold a view that a dual national civil servant cannot be loyal to two places at a time, therefore, he/she should renounce one citizenship.
A debate has been ongoing in the bureaucratic circles that whether civil servants holding dual nationality should be allowed to hold top posts in the government or not. Their loyalties have also been questioned as Pakistan does not have a good repute on this matter.
Legal experts and retired bureaucrats stated that the Parliament should legislate on the dual nationality of civil servants.
While talking to Pakistan Today, former Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Barrister Ali Zafar stated that there shall be no restriction of getting the nationality of some other country as it is allowed by Pakistani law. The dual national Pakistanis send millions in remittances every year, he added.
“On one side, the government requests money from them in order to show good reserves but one the other, we question their loyalty,” he added.
Ali Zafar also claimed that dual national Pakistanis are more loyal as compared to native residents.
Another prominent lawyer Majid Bashir pointed out that the law allows civil servants to keep nationality of any country. However, he added that the Supreme Court (SC) had passed a verdict that dual national officers and politicians cannot make policies, thereby disqualifying a number of politicians for concealing this information.
Currently, the court is hearing the dual nationality issue under that judgment so it has instructed to check who holds a nationality of any other country.
A recently retired Grade-22 officer of Inland Revenue Service (IRS) Rehmatul Wazir, while talking to Pakistan Today, said that civil servants should not be dual nationals. “We sign an affidavit with the state when we assume our responsibilities,” he said, adding that if an officer holds dual nationality, it can lead to a conflict of interests.
Another serving officer said that when a person applies for an exam or job including the Central Superior Services (CSS), he/she has to disclose whether he owns nationality in some country or not.
Currently, over 350 officials have informed the court that they hold dual nationalities so questions arise whether they concealed the information while filling the job forms. The apex court has to look into this matter also because if a court can disqualify parliamentarians on concealing information, the same can be done with bureaucrats for concealing information.
The government has dual nationality arrangements with following 19 countries: United Kingdom, Egypt, France, Jordan, Italy, Syria, Belgium, Switzerland, Iceland, Netherland, Australia, United States of America, New Zealand, Sweden, Canada, Ireland, Finland, Bahrain, and Denmark.
On the other hand, the Pakistan Army does not permit to hold dual nationality, “As per military rule, no one in service is allowed to have dual nationality. If someone has a dual nationality, he has to surrender his foreign nationality before joining the service.”
It is pertinent to mention here that the SC is all set to hear the Suo-Motu case against dual national officials on Monday.