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Pakistan

Web Desk
February 19, 2021

PM Imran Khan's aide Tabish Gauhar holds UAE Iqama, official documents reveal

Web Desk
Fri, Feb 19, 2021
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Power, Tabish Gauhar holds a UAE permanent residency Iqama. Photo Courtesy: Geo Urdu
  • Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Power, Tabish Gauhar, holds a UAE permanent residency Iqama
  • The development comes after Gauher tendered his resignation to PM Imran Khan last month
  • The lawmaker is the first member of PM Imran's cabinet to have a permanent residency permit in the UAE


ISLAMABAD: The official documents obtained by Geo News have revealed that Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Power, Tabish Gauhar, holds a UAE permanent residency Iqama.

The development comes after Gauher tendered his resignation to PM Imran Khan last month. The prime minister, however, rejected his resignation and told Gauhar to carry on his duties.

He had resigned via WhatsApp after being appointed in an honourary capacity a few months earlier on October 1, 2020.

Moreover, he has not publicly announced that he is an Iqama holder though he disclosed it to the Cabinet Division on February 12 this year, in writing.

The lawmaker is the first member of PM Imran's cabinet to have a permanent residency permit in the UAE. 

Other cabinet members with dual citizenship

The Prime Minister's 49-member cabinet includes 28 federal ministers, three ministers of state, four advisers, and 14 special assistants.

The total number of members currently in the federal cabinet who hold permanent residency in other countries, namely the United States, Canada, UAE, and the UK, is six.

No bar on dual nationals

Last year, the Supreme Court had upheld a verdict by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) which had ruled that dual citizens can be appointed as special assistants to the prime minister.

In the case pertaining to dual citizenship of the special assistants to the prime minister, the IHC had remarked in a written judgement that the premier was accountable to the people and could not run the state affairs alone.

"The Federal Government has made the Rules of 1973 and has described the 'Organization of Divisions' in rule 4 ibid. Sub rule 6 of rule 4 enables the Prime Minister to appoint Special Assistant or Special Assistants and to determine their status and functions," IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah had written.

"The Rules of 1973, particularly rule 4(6) are not in conflict with the provisions of the Constitution. Special Assistants are not members of the Federal Cabinet. Moreover, they are distinct from Advisors appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister under Article 93(1) of the Constitution.

"The Prime Minister is the chief executive of one of the most important organs of the State and has to perform multiple/complex functions. A person elected as Prime Minister is answerable to the people of Pakistan and the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament). The onerous role of the Prime Minister described under the Constitution cannot be performed by the latter alone," he had added.

The IHC judge had also said that neither the special assistants to the prime minister nor their patriotism could be doubted based on the fact that they held dual citizenship and, thus, could not be disqualified either.