dual nationality conflict interestsThe government has announced that all Pakistanis who are now citizens of the United States shall have dual nationality, press release of the Ministry of Interior in 2002. According to the media reports, the government has realized the difficulties and sense of deprivation among the Pakistanis who had acquired the American citizenship and lost the Pakistani citizenship by virtue of the Pakistan Citizenship Act. This not only is a question of American citizenship; rather it is an important question whether or not should Pakistan allows dual nationality to any Pakistani who has acquired the nationality of any other country? Secondary question is, should we allow even those people who wish to participate in politics of Pakistan and acquire public offices in Pakistan but have permanent residence and financial interests in developed countries but ?

This is a funny statement that those who have changed nationality face difficulties and sense of deprivation. Those who have preferred nationality of any other country did it willingly and they hardly felt deprived. They are living in a society which gives them better economic benefits. They are enjoying many facilities, which are not even comparable to Pakistan. The question is why should ordinary Pakistani wish to come back from a country where they have better quality of life; no need to give bribe to get things done; treated as respected human beings even though they are included in a group of colored group; draw unemployment benefits when they are laid off; access to free education and medical facilities; no need to flatter and give unnecessary favors to their bosses and family of the bosses; have better freedom of speech and maintaining style of living of their yearning. Many Pakistanis do not miss Pakistan—–if they miss at all—–they miss their family members.

Giving dual nationality to those people who have changed their nationality is giving them, undoubtedly, another privilege. Of course, this privilege would be more beneficial to nationals of other countries with Pakistani origin than Pakistan. Would the government tell the nation, how many Pakistanis holding foreign nationalities come back to Pakistan and invested money here? Most of them, like Moeen Qurashi and Shaukat Aziz came to Pakistan when they were offered lucrative political or administrative positions or hired as consultants on huge salaries; and they packed their bags when they found that they could not milk the country any more. In less famous examples, Zia Mia-ud-Din, Zoaib Hassan, Mussarat Nazir are among a few who just showed nationalism when they thought to gain economic benefits from the country.

The author has lived for many years abroad but never met any Pakistani (foreign nationality holder) who was dying to settle down in Pakistan though they have been continuously claiming that they would go back to Pakistan one day; but this ‘one day’ never came into their lives. Only a countable Pakistanis with permanent status moved back to Pakistan from the developed countries.

Dual nationality is an injustice to the citizens of Pakistan who are living, whether willing or not, and bearing hardships of this system. It is unfair to them that a person who enjoys everything abroad come back for a short time and take all sorts of advantages here; it is unreasonable that he/she stays till the time he/she can exploit the system; otherwise go back to his/her real homeland.

It is unjust that a person living abroad can participate in politics of the country; we have all reason to doubt their loyalty while they have chosen to take nationality of any other country like Altaf Hussanin of MQM, who proudly showed the British Passport to media upon accepting the nationality. Similarly, it is plausible to doubt the intentions of those people who have been building empires in other countries and ready to pay huge taxes there but not willing to invest or pay taxes in Pakistan. A short list of such people is mentioned here who have either dual nationality or permanent interests in other countries (this list is by no means is complete and if other people wish to add information please feel free to do so). Pakistan is the only country whose top politicians and civil and military bureaucrats settle down in other countries. Mind it, they have all the top level confidential information and we have no guarantee that they have not (or will not) passed on secret information to other countries.

Altaf Hussain: Founder of Muhtida Quami Movement: British national but actively participating in politics of Karachi.

Asif Ali Zardari: Rumors are that he has American nationality but President of Pakistan. Besides he has made huge investments in different developed countries.

Pervaiz Musharraf: Immediately moved to UK after resigning from the position of President of Pakistan and Chief of Army Staff.

Asfand Yar Wali: Leader of ANP but have residence in the UK

Nawaz Sharif: Leader of Muslim League and ex Prime Minister but preferred to live and invest in other countries. Frequently goes to UK for small medical treatments and let the Pakistanis to handle by Pakistani doctors.

Shabaz Sharif: Leader of Muslim League, Chief-Minister of Punjab and brother of Nawaz Sharif. Frequently travel to UK. Like his brother prefer to have medical treatment for small ailments in the UK.

Shaukat Aziz: American National but held position of Minister and Prime Minister.

Hussain Haqani: American national but acting as Pakistan Ambassador in USA

Wajid UL Shams: Pakistan’s Ambassador in UK

The author is strongly in favor of the law to stop Pakistani to hold public offices who have either changed nationality or holding permanent residence in another country, especially after seeing the credentials of top leaders and bureaucrats who only wish to live in a Pakistan to reap the benefits.

Written in 2004: Updated: 15 November, 2011-07-15
Urdu version Published

Nadeem Yousaf

15 July 2011



In 2012, Supreme Court of Pakistan has made a decision in which it is stated that dual nationality holders cannot contest elections. This decision is strangely challenged again for review by Imran Khan, founder of Therik-e-Insaaf (Justice Party). I hope that the Supreme Court will uphold the
decision. Added on 22.04.2012.

Since the judiciary took decision in accordance with the constitution of Pakistan, the government is preparing a bill that gives legal right to dual nationality holders to hold contest elections and public office. The fact is that Zardari, Nawaz Sherif, Altaf Hussain and the company wish to act like a Viceroy. They want to be treated like a member of the royal family. They want to visit Pakistan to loot the wealth of Pakistan as British East India Company did in 1700 and 1800. Without real political awakening of common and uneducated people, Pakistan will never be independent. Updated on 12.07.2012

Nadeem Yousaf

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