ISLAMABAD: While a constitutional amendment is being contemplated in the name of the entire expatriate community, dual nationals on key positions are ‘imported’ from the UK, US and Canada, where only 36 pc of the overseas population lives.
There are as many as 6,756,391 Pakistanis living in 120 countries, according to the figures of the ministry of overseas Pakistanis, and a majority of them is living in the countries that either do not offer citizenship or do not have any pact with Pakistan on dual nationality.
Of 120 countries where expatriates are living, Pakistan has bilateral agreements on dual nationality with 15 countries. Again, one of these countries, Iceland, does not have any Pakistani expatriates living there, according to the official figures.
The government has unilaterally permitted expatriates living in the US to keep dual nationality, as there is no pact otherwise, a fact verified by the Foreign Office.The US does not officially recognise dual nationality since doing so means encouraging the naturalised citizens to violate the oath they take at the time of acquiring citizenship.
Pakistan’s Washington Embassy website says: “The facility to keep Pakistani passports in addition to US passports has primarily been granted for purpose of identity, property transactions and legal transactions IN PAKISTAN.”
Pakistani dual nationals in the US are tried under the US laws in case of serious offences whereas those living in the countries entered into bilateral agreements with Pakistan consider both laws in the event of sever crimes, explained a Pakistani diplomat.
Right now, Pakistan has bilateral agreements on dual nationality with the following countries: UK, France, Belgium, Italy, Iceland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Sweden and Ireland. Yet, there are countries like Netherlands who do not allow their born citizens to keep dual nationality provided it is acquired other than through spouse etc. Australia does not allow the dual national to sit in its Parliament. A Senator-elect there, an Australian-British national, was disqualified following the disclosure of his dual nationality, no matter Australia is ceremonially ruled by Queen Elizabeth of UK.
In terms of Pakistani expatriates in countries allowed dual nationality, following is the break-up with percentage-wise population share of the whole overseas community abroad: 1260308 (18.65%) Pakistanis in UK; 60,000 (0.88%) in France; 15,300 (0.22%) in Belgium; 81,998 (1.21%) in Italy; 27,000 (0.39%) in Australia; 8000 (0.11%) in New Zealand; 300,000 (4.44%) i Canada; 750 (0.01%) in Egypt; 10,178 (0.15%) in Jordan; 800 (0.01%) in Syria; 4593 (0.06%) in Switzerland; 35,000 (0.51%) in Netherlands; 10,584 (0.15%) in Sweden and 10,000 (0.14%) in Ireland. In US, there are as many as 900,182 (13.32%) Pakistanis and, according to Pakistani mission official’s estimate, around 25% expatriates there are not dual nationals.
A break-up of percentage-wise expatriates in terms of different regions/continent is as follows: 1.424% in Africa; 17.857% in North and South America; 2.997% in Asia and Far East; 0.518% in Australia and New Zealand; 26.298% in Europe; and a sizeable number of 50.906% expatriates are in the Middle East.
In African countries hosting 96,223 Pakistanis, the highest number of Pakistani expatriates live in South Africa (75195), followed by Mozambique (9000) and then Zimbabwe (2,200). Break-up of other countries is as follows: 112 Pakistanis in Algeria; 500 in Botswana; 600 in Burundi; 10 in Comoros; 200 in Djibouti; 750 in Egypt; 30 in Eritrea; 100 in Ethiopia; 152 in Ghana; 1071 in Kenya; 111 in Madagascar; 95 in Mauritius; 71 in Morocco; 10 in Niger; 458 in Nigeria; 50 in Rwanda; 40 in Senegal; nine in Seychelles; 627 in Sudan; 963 in Tanzania; 810 in Uganda; 106 in Sierra Leone; 1, 000 in Lesotho; 502 in Namibia; 700 in Swaziland; 18 in Tunisia; 35 in Gambia; 36 in Cote Devoir, 27 in Guinea; 300 in Malawi; 213 in Zambia; 70 in Congo; 48 in Angola and four in Guinea Bissau.
There are 12, 06,479 expatriates in North and South America with major concentrations in US (900,182) and Canada (300,000). In other countries of these continents, 1000 expatriates are in Chile, 3,000 in Peru, 1,700 in Ecuador, 50 in Argentina, seven in Bolivia, 31 in Brazil, nine in Columbia, 338 in Cuba, 150 in Mexico, 7 in Paraguay and five in Surinam.
In Asia and Far East, Pakistan has as many as 202,458 expatriates and majority of them is living in Afghanistan (70,000); China (26,544); Hong Kong (16,136); Japan (12,048); Malaysia (39,394); Philippines (1,069); South Korea (10,490); Iran (7,714); Russia (3,510); Singapore (4,562); Turkmenistan (2,000) and Thailand (3,338). In other countries of this region, 415 are in Azerbaijan and Georgia; 429 in Bangladesh; 479 in Brunei Darussalam; 86 in Cambodia; 510 in Indonesia; 1,500 in Kazakhstan; 1,300 in Kyrgyzstan; 80 in Maldives; 37 in Myanmar; 40 in Nepal; 400 in Sri Lanka; 80 in Tajikistan; 70 in Turkmenistan; 160 in Ukraine; 63 in Uzbekistan; 63 in Vietnam and four in North Korea.
In Australian continent, as many as 27,000 expatriates are in Australia and 8,000 in New Zealand making a total of 35,000 Pakistanis living in that region.
In Europe that has as many as 17, 76,798 Pakistanis, majority is living in UK (12, 60, 308); Greece (90,000), Germany (78,011); Italy (81,998); Denmark (30,323); France (60,000); Ireland (10,000); Denmark (30,323); Netherlands (35,000); Norway (31,061); Belgium & Luxembourg (15,300) and Spain (56, 978). The number of expatriates in other European countries is as follows: 2,312 in Austria; 3,071 in Cyprus; 1,600 in Finland; 3,870 in Portugal; 4,593 in Switzerland; 484 in Czech Republic; 159 in Turkey; 511 in Romania; 350 in Poland; 120 in Hungary; 17 in Bosnia; 70 in Bulgaria; three in Croatia; 11 in Moldova; 20 in Serbia and Montenegro and 44 in Slovak.
In the Middle East, there are as many as 34, 39,433 Pakistanis. Their major concentrations are in Saudi Arabia (1, 722,247); UAE (1, 170,435); Bahrain (75, 641); Jordan (10,178); Kuwait (149,233); Oman (216,191) and Qatar (855,121). The number of Pakistanis in other Gulf states is as follows: Lebanon (530); Syria (800); Yemen (1,557) and Iraq (2,500).