ISLAMABAD: In an unfortunate development, the dual nationality bill slapping multiple restrictions on double citizenship has lapsed without a discussion on it in the National Assembly after PML-Q MNA Raza Hayat Hiraj moved it.
“Instead of bowing before pressure or stepping back, I will introduce the same (proposed) legislation as a private member bill in the coming National Assembly session to provide another opportunity to the MPs to correct the existing wrong things,” Hiraj told The News on Tuesday while confirming the development.
As the PPP-led government mulls to bring a constitutional amendment to lift the bar regarding dual nationality, the bill has lapsed in chambers before the stage of its consideration.After the proposed legislation remained unfolded for a long time since it was introduced, the relevant staff from the NA Secretariat apprised the PML-Q MNA, being its mover, in writing that the draft bill had lapsed.
The written communication mentions Hiraj’s becoming member of the federal cabinet a reason behind removing it from the list of bills pending for consideration at the committee level. “I will not only move the bill again but also seek all members’ support to ensure that only Pakistani nationals are members of parliament and all of them as well as bureaucrats serving on key positions keep operating their accounts and their assets inside the country,” Hirraj said.
Hiraj said his bill mainly targets bureaucrats who are greater in number as compared to the politicians regarding having dual nationalities and are keeping their assets abroad.The draft legislation, a negation of the government’s aspiration to let all free to have citizenship of other countries, possess assets and maintain accounts abroad, restricts a person having dual nationality and assets abroad to become MP or a government servant either in civil or defence departments.
The bill seeks insertion of Article 63(B) after existing Article 63(A) of Constitution as it reads “63 (B): Disqualification on Certain Grounds: (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Constitution or any other law for the time being in force, a person shall be disqualified from service in Pakistan or holding any office in any organisation, including members of the armed forces and judiciary; whether wholly or partly owned or controlled by federal or provincial government or being elected or chosen as a member of Majlis-e-Shoora (parliament) or provincial assembly or local government if: a) he maintains an account in any bank or financial institution in a foreign country whether in his own name, or in the name of his spouse, children or dependents or as the case may be or, (b) holds a dual nationality or has a permanent resident status of any other country whether in his own name, or in the name of his spouse, children or dependents or as the case may be, or (c) holds an office of profit or interest in any company or organisation established in a foreign country whether in his own name, or in the name of his spouse, children or dependents or as the case may be, or (d) owns any property whether free hold, lease hold or even in the form of license, assets, shares or any interest in any company based in a foreign country, whether in his own name, or in the name of his spouse, children or dependents or as the cay may be, or (e) carries out business including any commercial activity in any organisation or establishment based in a foreign country whether in his own name, or in the name of his spouse, children or dependents or as the case may be”.