'Imported' PMs will rule us if dual nationals are allowed: SC
22 June, 2012
ISLAMABAD: Hearing dual nationality case, Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Chaudhry on Thursday said if parliamentarians were not prevented from holding dual nationality then the influx of imported premiers would continue.
Senator Wasim Sajjad, the counsel for PPP lawmaker Farahnaz Ispahani, told a three-member bench that it was not realistic to question someone's loyalty on the basis of dual nationality and to suspend his or her membership from the assembly.
The court had suspended basic membership of Farahnaz Ispahani a month ago on the grounds that she obtained US citizenship. Besides three other members, Senator Rehman Malik is also struggling for restoration of his membership. MPA Amina Buttar told the court that she had obtained the US citizenship, but was still loyal to Pakistan.
Sajjad asked the court to interpret the constitutional provision 63-1(C) that says a member would be disqualified if "he ceases to be a citizen of Pakistan, or acquires the citizenship of a foreign state…"
He said since it was a matter related to political rights of overseas Pakistanis the word "or" in the constitutional provision 63-1(C) should be altered with word "and" to make the country's constitution compatible with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It means the provision should be, "He ceases to be a citizen of Pakistan and acquires the citizenship of a foreign state…" So that, Sajjad said, in the era of evolving concepts, there should not be a constitutional bar for the dual-nationality holders.
The court has turned down Sajjad's suggestion; saying that no alteration could be made in the constitution by the Supreme Court even a comma has its own significance. The CJP said, "We have no objection over thousands of dual nationality holders but the court's concern is only related to over a dozen members of assemblies."
Justice Khilji told Sajjad that if parliament deemed it fit then it should amend it. Sajjad asked the court to refer this matter to parliament, but the chief justice said to uphold the constitution of the country was very basic responsibility of the court.
The court adjourned the hearing until June 25.