Friday June 14, 2024

After judges, MNA Noor Alam seeks ban on appointment of civil servants holding dual nationality

JUI-F lawmaker seeks constitutional amendment to stop appointment of govt officials with foreign citizenship

By Nausheen Yusuf
May 23, 2024
A general view of the Parliament House building in Islamabad, April 10, 2022. — Reuters
A general view of the Parliament House building in Islamabad, April 10, 2022. — Reuters

ISLAMABAD: After seeking to close doors for judges holding foreign citizenship in superior judiciary, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) lawmaker Noor Alam Khan on Thursday proposed constitutional amendments to ban the appointment of civil servants holding dual nationality.

A draft bill was submitted to the National Assembly (NA) Secretariat against dual citizenship of government officials, claiming that they escape accountability after fleeing to foreign nations post-retirement.

It stated that an individual holding dual nationality or foreign citizenship should not be given right to be appointed as a civil servant.

A document obtained by Geo News showed that MNA Noor sought changes in the Civil Servants Act, 1973's Section 5, calling it “Civil Servants (Amendment) Bill, 2024”.

"Provided that a civil servant holding dual nationality or citizenship of any foreign country shall not be entitled for appointment," it read.

Elaborating on reasons behind seeking the modification, he stated: "Government servants must have their stakes in the country in which they hold positions of authority, privilege and trust."

He added that his proposed amendments would “ensure the loyalty of government servants in the light of Article 5 of the Constitution”.

The development comes after MNA Noor sought a constitutional amendment to impose a complete ban on the appointment of judges in the higher judiciary who are dual nationals.

On Tuesday, the lawmaker also submitted a Constitutional (Amendment) Bill, 2024, to the NA Secretariat which has sought modifications in the Constitution’s Articles 177, 193, and 208, shutting all legal routes to the appointments of those judges, who have foreign nationalities.

The draft bill clearly stated that a dual-national individual shall not be appointed as a Supreme Court (SC) or a High Court (HC) judge.

It also sought to block the passage to the appointments of foreign nationals as judiciary officers and servants as well.

It also read: “Those who hold dual nationality of foreign states, putting at stake the interest of the country of their origin.”

Urging the legislature to promulgate the proposed law, the JUI-F lawmaker said there is a need to ensure the loyalty of the judges in the light of Article 5 of the Constitution, and his proposed amendments will achieve the objectives.