Legal Fund – Rights of Dual Pakistani Nationals
Whenever Pakistan is under any tragedy or pain; 7 million Pakistanis living abroad demonstrated their full commitment without any pressure. Pakistan ranks 10th in the world for remittances sent home in 2012 at $13 billion.They are the ones who, (regardless of their second nationality) have to answer the questions of the people of the country they live in. They have set up Pakistani Organizations in every county they are living in. The number of these organizations is more than 350. These overseas Pakistanis have even registered the political parties of Pakistan as Foreign Political party in different countries (where allowed, for instance PPP, MQM, PTI and other parties are registered in USA). They celebrate every Pakistan Day with love, peace and harmony.
They are the true ambassadors of Pakistan who are doing far better job official diplomats. No one forces them to do these things, this is their absolute character of loyalty to Pakistan.
It is totally unfair and unjust that dual national Pakistanis can vote in the electoral process but cannot contest in the election at any level of electoral process. Those who are subject to the law should at least have the opportunity to participate in the decision-making process by means of democratic rights. Recent Supreme court decision forced ECP to ensure that overseas Pakistani’s votes are counted in the upcoming election process. The votes are for candidates of political parties. What is the value of the vote when they cannot run themselves and even cannot be part of any political party.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Dual Nationality:
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) states:
(a) ” Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his/her country….” ( Section 21(1) of ICCPR). Overseas Pakistanis with dual nationality claim Pakistan as his/her country; and Pakistan also consider them as their citizens since they hold National Identity Card, Pakistani Passport and the right to vote in the general elections. Therefore, they have the right to be a parliamentarian in Pakistan.
(b) “Everyone has the right to a nationality ” ( Article 15 (1) of UDHR. A Pakistani who acquires the nationality of a foreign country where he resides without surrendering Pakistani citizenship is doing so as a “privilege” to enjoy the benefits of the resident country where he/she currently lives. This does not take away his/her allegiance to Pakistan.
EU on Dual Nationality:
If the “participation of immigrants in the democratic process and in the formulation of integration policies and measures … supports their integration,” as argued and laid down as another common basic principle on immigrant integration of the European Council, full political inclusion of immigrants is a paramount goal (Commission of the European Communities 2003).
Pakistani Law on Dual Nationality:
The concept of dual nationality means that a person is a citizen of two countries at the same time. Dual nationals are required to obey the laws of both countries.
The legislation on dual nationality of Pakistanis was incorporated in the Constitution of Pakistan in 1951, titled; ‘Pakistan Citizenship Act 1951’. Since then many amendments have been made fulfilling the needs of the time and to deal with the change in the circumstances of the country in different times. For example; the Pakistan Citizenship (Amendment) Act 1952, the Pakistan Citizenship (Amendment) Act 1972, the Pakistan Citizenship (Amendment) Act 1973, the Pakistan Citizenship (Second Amendment) Act 1973 and the Pakistan Citizenship (Amendment) Ordinance 2000.
Pakistani origin US nationals were granted permission to keep their Pakistani Nationality through a notification no: S.R.O. 581 (1)/2002, dated 29/08/2002 and on the same time through another notification no: R.O. 582 (1)/2002 the same permission was granted to the Pakistani origin Sweden nationals. Although holding dual citizenship was not permitted under the 1951 law, the Government of Pakistan now recognizes and allows its citizens to also hold dual citizenship of 16 countries: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Egypt, France, Iceland, Italy, Ireland, Jordan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, United Kingdom, United States
This fund is created to support the petition against the Supreme Court’s Decision that Dual nationals of Pakistan cannot contest in the General Elections.
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