.: Asia

Date: 21 Dec 2011

Amend bill on dual nationality tabled in NA

ISLAMABAD - The legislators from treasury and opposition benches in the National Assembly on Tuesday introduced six different bills. An amendment bill barring dual nationals from becoming members of parliament or government officials was introduced in the National Assembly. The bill was tabled by PML-N members.
The bill to amend the civil servant act, 1973 (the Civil Servants (Amendment (Bill, 2011), which says ‘no civil servant possessing dual nationality shall be entitled to continue to be a civil servant on the commencement of the act’.
Apart from lot of legislative business where even 12 bills were deferred due to the absence of the concerned members, Pakistan Muslim League (N) on second day continued to grill the government on severe loadshedding of gas in twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, saying that circumstances are fast leading towards civil disobedience if the situation is not controlled.
Among the six bills three bills including [The Civil Servants (Amendment) Bill, 2011], [The Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2011] and [The Pakistan Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2011) were introduced by PML(N) members Tasneem Siddiqui.
A bill to amend the civil servant act, 1973 says that no citizen of Pakistan or a civil servant possessing dual nationality being a citizen of Pakistan shall be entitled to apply or to be appointed or to continue to be a civil servant on the commencement of the act.
According to the amendment of the servants act 1873, in section 3 , act LXXI ‘no person who is not the citizen of Pakistan shall be entitled to apply or to be appointed as a civil servant in relation to any post, office or service in connection with affairs of the federation after provision of required personal.
The amendment 5 says, “No citizen of Pakistan or civil servant or civil servant possessing or who shall possess dual nationality of any other country being citizen of Pakistan shall be entitled to apply or to be appointed or to continue to be a civil servant on the commencement.”
The insertion of new section 22, act LXXI of 1973, the concealment of facts or information says that any person who applies for a post, office or service under this act and conceals or wrongly states any information which is required under this act or under any rules, regulations or instruction, etc made there under shall be permanently disqualified for applying for a post.
The statement of objects and reasons say that there are instances that candidates at the time of their recruitment possessing citizenship or nationality and after they committing corruption or indulging in corrupt practices and misuse of their public office, they easily leave their services as well as country.
The Pakistan citizenship (amendment) bill, 2011) introduced by the MNA Tasneem Siddiqui in amendment 14 regarding ‘dual citizenship or nationality not permitted’ says that no citizen of Pakistan shall be allowed to acquire the citizenship or nationality of any other country unless provided in this act.
The third bill moved by Tasneem Siddqui, to amend representation of the people act, 1976 (the representation of the people) says, we have to make arrangements to keep the election process in the range of ordinary people.
PPP legislator from Balochistan Syed Nasir Ali Shah introduced to amend the Representation of the People Act, 1976 [The Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill. Nasir Ali Shah said that majority people cannot take part in the general elections due to million of rupees expenditures depriving people from their fundamental right of equal opportunity guaranteed by the constitution.
Justice (R) Fakhar un Nisa Khokher and Yasmeen Rehman moved to amend the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860 and the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (The Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2011] and [The Civil Servants (Amendment) Bill, 2011] respectively.
Earlier, PML-N legislators asked the government to make some proper arrangement for severe gas loadshedding. PML-N MNA Hanif Abbasi said that they will call off the next procession scheduled on Friday if the government gives assurance for uninterrupted gas supply in the twin cities.
In response to the concern raised by PML-N members, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said that he had taken notice of the low pressure of Sui gas supply to the twin cities. The gas pressure level should adequately be maintained according to the requirements. “I have directed to set up a complaint cell at the Dc office to redress the problems of people related to Sui gas.”
In response to the point raised by Mahmood Hayat Khan Tochi that growers are suffering from non-purchase of their commodity, Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani said that the incumbent government would give priority to cotton growers. In this connection a delegation of ginning sector met him and he has referred the matter to Minister for Finance.
Responding to the point of orders, Malik said that the unemployed religious students would be provided financial assistance after completing education.
He said that a smart card would be issued by Wafaq ul Madaris in collaboration with ulema. As many as 24,000 seminaries are registered with Wafaq ul Madaris and unregistered seminaries have been given one month for their registration.
He further said that the murderers of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto would be arrested. Former President General Pervaiz Musharraf has already been declared proclaimed offenders in the Benazir Bhutto murder case, he said responding to a point of order raised by opposition members.
He said that PML-N should register an FIR against General Pervaiz Musharraf, the federal government would provide all kinds of assistance to the Punjab government.
Speaking on a point of order, Fakhur Nisa Khokar said that kidnapiing for ransom case were increasing as the son of late governor Salman Taseer was still not recovered.

[The Nation]

Farahnaz can become the first victim of new EC rule

Umar Cheema

ISLAMABAD: More trouble awaits Husain Haqqani as his US national wife, PPP MNA Farahnaz Ispahani, could be the first victim of Monday’s announcement of the Election Commission (EC) that it would de-seat dual nationality holder lawmakers.

Although there are several senators and MNAs suspected of having dual nationality, it has been officially proved that Farahnaz is a US citizen as the State Department has listed her as such in its list of foreign diplomats with US spouses.

Talking to The News, EC Secretary Ishtiak Ahmad said the rules apply on the incumbent lawmakers and those aspiring for the next elections.

The secretary’s statement is also endorsed by Article 63, which deals with the disqualification of members of the parliament. Article 63 (1) C says that any member would be disqualified if he/she ‘ceases to be a citizen of Pakistan, or acquires the citizenship of a foreign state’. The new EC rules have been framed in line with the parameters set by the constitution.

As the EC clarified in its announcement that actions would be taken against dual nationality holders provided it is directed either by the parliament or by a court of law, some interested persons are preparing to file a petition in the Supreme Court.

Farahnaz was reluctant to speak on this issue when contacted. She instead snapped the call and did not attend the phone despite repeated attempts. However, her dual citizenship is crystal clear as has been affirmed by the US State Department.

A diplomatic listing by the United States has revealed that Farahnaz is a US citizen together with the spouses of envoys of Israel and Haiti.

The US has diplomatic relations with as many as 110 countries and only three countries have ambassadors with US citizens as spouses.

Farahnaz is not only a National Assembly member in Pakistan, she sits in the all important presidency as an adviser to President Zardari.

A powerful federal minister, who spent numerous years in exile, is also believed to hold UK nationality. The spouse of a top economic team manager and of a chief development planner are also said to be US nationals. Pakistan’s Auditor General Akhtar Buland Rana has already been disclosed to be a Canadian national.

Questions are also being asked whether a key member of the present cabinet with a medical background but who runs a ministry dealing with natural resources is a Canadian passport holder. There are reports indicating that two sons of a big gun have secured Canadian immigration.

As for Farahnaz Ispahani’s case her US nationality has been disclosed in the context that she cannot enjoy diplomatic immunity like the non-US national spouses of the diplomatic staff stationed in Washington.

The State Department’s list compiled in January this year states: “A diplomatic agent’s family members are entitled to the same immunities unless they are United States national. Asterisks (*) identify US nationality”.

While going through the list of the diplomatic staff of different countries, Pakistan still has Husain Haqqani in the list as the country’s ambassador with Farahnaz mentioned as her spouse marked with asterisks. Pakistan has numerous examples when Pakistanis who live abroad, many of whom have acquired dual nationality, arrived, enjoyed good time in power and then went abroad.

[The News]

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