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January 24, 2019

Rules for officials with dual nationality to be amended

Top Story

January 24, 2019

ISLAMABAD: In the light of the Supreme Court decision in the Suo Motu case (3) 2018, the government has decided to amend the rules and regulations for government officials holding dual nationality, it is learnt. According to sources, work on evolving the new policy has started, and the attorney general of Pakistan has written a letter to the establishment division, the law and justice ministry, four provincial chief secretaries, chairmen of NADRA and NAB, prime minister’s principal secretary, registrars of all high courts and the secretaries of the national and provincial assemblies to start implementation of the apex court decision.

The letter has proposed preparation of a negative list of sensitive posts relating to national interest where dual nationals would not be appointed. The letter has advised careful study of the court’s decision, underlining the need for appropriate use of discretion for administrative policy. Under the decision, the federal government shall provide guiding principles for use of powers given by the Section 14 (3) of the Pakistan Citizenship Act.

The letter says that though the Constitution, Category-A citizens have no restriction on joining Service of Pakistan, they can get jobs in autonomous, semi-autonomous federal and provincial departments.

However, in state laws restriction can be put on the tenure of the job; according to the rules and regulations. The letter directed the interior ministry, DG Immigration and Passport, Nadra and Board of Investment to review their procedures and practice for employing persons holding dual nationality. They should also issue visas and work permits to Pakistan Origin Card (POC) holders.

Dual nationals working in the country without visas and work permits should apply for these documents. The interior ministry should decide on these applications within two months. The federal government should also amend Nadra’s Pakistan Origin Card rules and POC card holders should be allowed to work in the country. In this connection, Rule 17 (1) will be amended and Pakistanis holding dual nationality will apply for work visas/permits according to this rule. The letter recommended that dual nationals were also Pakistanis under the definition of nationality.

The federal and provincial governments should prepare negative list of the posts on which Pakistanis holding dual nationality or those Pakistanis whose spouses were possessing dual nationality should not be appointed on sensitive posts keeping in view the national security. They can be only appointed on the approval of federal or provincial cabinet.

The list of officers and their wives or husbands having dual nationality should be submitted to the parliament or provincial assemblies in the start of every fiscal year. The negative lists of decision-making and management posts should also be prepared in independent and semi-independent government institutions and the officers having dual nationality should not be posted without the permission of the controlling departments.

These institutions will send the lists of dual nationality-holders to their controlling departments in the end of every fiscal year. In case of foreigners and Pakistani OC holders, there is a recommendation that they must not be given government jobs. The federal and provincial governments should chalk out rules and regulations for foreigners. If a job is being given in the national interest, there should be permission from the cabinet. In view of national security, the negative lists of foreigners in independent and semi-independent government institutions should be prepared and submitted to the departments concerned in the end of every year.

The federal government will submit a report on the enforcement of the 1966 Act in the parliament every year. This Act imposes restriction on former government employees doing jobs in foreign governments and institutions. The letter states that the dual nationality-holding government employees, sometimes, launder money abroad and shift their families during their service or after retirement. There should be no leniency towards such people. The authority concerned should identify these people and give them a deadline to either leave their dual nationality or resign.