ISLAMABAD: A parliamentary committee on Thursday asked the Establishment Division to take an affidavit from the bureaucrats, which should state that they do not posses dual nationality.
The committee showed grave disappointment over the briefing of the division on the subject. The Senate Standing Committee on Rules and Procedures met under the chair of MQM’s Col (r) Tahir Hussain Mashhadi and discussed the issue after Senator Sughra Imam’s questioned dual nationality of civil servants of grade 18 and above. The committee expressed its dissatisfaction over the incomplete replies of the Establishment Division and also took strong exception to the absence of Establishment Division secretary from the meeting, terming it an act to disgrace the sanctity of the elected parliament.
Establishment Division Additional Secretary Amjad Mahmood briefed the committee and told it that even thought the matter pertains to the Interior Ministry, Establishment Division wrote a letter to all the federal departments, corporation and provincial governments to give details of their employees having dual nationality. He said all sides filed incomplete replies, and Punjab government gave an ambiguous reply, while Sindh did not give the details about its officials. “On the basis of the information gathered from all sides, I can confirm that only forty employees have dual nationality from among the hundreds of thousands of government employees across the country,” Amjad told the committee. Senator Sughra Imam, however, disputed the figures of the additional secretary. Other lawmakers also termed it a joke and showed distrust in the figures of additional secretary by calling the briefing devoid of substance.
The committee chairman asked the Establishment Division what guarantee they have that these officials with dual nationality would not compromise state secrets. Sughra Imam said that the dual nationality ban was only limited to politicians, while the government officers of grade 18 and above can get nationality of any foreign country. She pointed out that laws exist for civil servants that requires them to relinquish dual nationality before joining the civil service academy, but they violate it.
Senator Abdul Rauf said that bureaucrats appeared to be above the law and pointed out NADRA alone has seven officials, working on high posts, who have the nationality of the US. Members of the committee opined that the officials with dual nationality cannot be sincere with the country and can become agents of foreign countries in Pakistan. The committee directed the Establishment Division to take necessary steps to check the acquisition of dual nationality by the bureaucrats and, if needed, should also go for legislation to put an end to this.
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