Report Submitted to Supreme Court Reveals 213 Bureaucrats Hold Dual Nationality

A total of 213 government officers serving in various ministries, divisions, provincial departments and autonomous bodies hold dual nationality, with some of them assigned to key positions, a report compiled by the Establishment Division reveals.

The highest number of officers with dual nationality is from the Pakistan Administrative Services (PAS/DMG). It is considered to be the elite services group. It is followed by the Police Service of Pakistan (PSP). The Inland Revenue Service, the Pakistan Customs Service, the Pakistan Audit and Accounts Service, the Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR), and the Commerce and Trade Groups also have officers holding dual nationality.

Details of 30 officers of PAS, PSP, Office Management Group and Secretariat Group were not received, despite the Supreme Court’s warning that concealment of information could have serious legal consequences. Some of these officers are said to be out of the country on ex-Pakistan leave.

The country’s apex court had on Jan 17 sought details of bureaucrats with dual nationality serving in federal and provincial governments.

Chief Justice Saqib Nisar said in the suo moto hearing that it was not in the interest of Pakistan that the officers who were posted on highly sensitive posts hold dual citizenship and announced a 10-day amnesty for bureaucrats to voluntarily reveal their dual nationality before taking a ‘legal action’ against over the double citizenship.

Justice Nisar observed that some of the officers have not yet provided the information regarding their dual citizenship but “now they are given the last chance to do the needful, otherwise, an appropriate legal action would be taken against them for disregarding the court order”. The judge said that if the officers complied with the order in 10 days , no action would be taken against them.

There is no specific law barring dual nationals from serving in government departments, but the court believes that maintaining allegiance to a foreign country could constitute conflict of interest. The apex court rulings suggest that it could call for legislation in this respect.

The court had in its judgement of Sept 20, 2012 disqualified 11 legislators for keeping nationalities of other countries.

The controversy over dual nationality is predicated on the assumption that people with dual nationality do not have the same level of commitment to the country as those having only Pakistani nationality because of the former’s limited stakes in the future of the country that has suffered decades of maladministration, corruption and abuse of power.

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