ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan on Tuesday ordered the submission of details regarding army officials who hold dual nationalities.
Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, while presiding over a three-member bench comprising of Justice Umar Ata Bandiyal and Justice Ijazul Ahsan, ordered the Ministry of Defence to brief the SC whether the law prevented army officials and soldiers from holding dual nationalities.
Referring to the judgment in Asghar Khan case, Justice Bandiyal remarked that the same law should be applied to defence forces to ensure that they did not hold dual nationalities.
Justice Nisar said that the apex court was just collecting data on army officials and although the SC had highlighted the issue, the parliament was responsible for updating the law. “The courts can only propose recommendations; the onus is on the government to take the matter further.”
Meanwhile, SC appointed advisor Shahid Hamid submitted recommendations before to the SC. “The federal and provincial governments should formulate negative list(s) of posts to which foreign nationals shall not be appointed for reasons of safeguarding national security and/or vital national interests,” suggested Hamid in his report.
“The federal government should also be required to submit annual reports to Parliament in regard to enforcement/implementation of the 1966 Act prohibiting employment of ex-government servants with foreign government and agencies.”
He further explained that Section 14(I) of the Pakistan Citizenship Act 1951 prescribed that a citizen of Pakistan shall lose his citizenship if he becomes a citizen of any other country. “However, section 14(3) creates an exception from his general prohibition in case of citizens who are citizens of the United Kingdom (UK) or its colonies or such other country as may be notified by the federal government. The number of countries with whom dual citizenship is permissible is 19,” he concluded.
After seeking details of army officials with dual nationalities, the top court adjourned hearing until August 1.