Leaders of Pakistan: Please Answer(for a change)!

Yasmeen Ali

In the situation we, as a nation, find ourselves in, caused by multidimensional issues, from spiking inflation, to corruption at every level, from leadership bankruptcy to natural disasters and the destruction it has brought in it’s wake, we need a time of quiet reflection.

We need to reflect, what have we done, or, what have we not done, to produce and groom a crop of leaders that can lead the nation out of it’s many challenges, heads up, colors flying!

The national parties have, over time, mobilized people over slogans of all kind of promises. However, once in power, they failed the nation at every level. One reason is genuine ignorance of the economy and searching for answers that need to be answered. The other reason is, awarding ministries, not on grounds of competence of an individual to run a ministry, nor his knowledge and acumen in the field, but purely party loyalty. This in turn leads to wrong decisions, waste of resources, misdirected human effort and more incompetency. The third reason is, a genuine lack of will to do good for the country as compared to do good personally.

This conflict between personal gain with national gain brings us to two crucial questions that we, as a nation, must address. High time too.

The first conflict, is the right exercised by a large percentage of leaders, including Members of Parliament, to maintain dual citizenship. Although many countries in the world do recognize dual citizenship, including USA, based on the U.S. Department of State regulation on dual citizenship (7 FAM 1162), the Supreme Court of the United States has stated that dual citizenship is a “status long recognized in the law” and that “a person may have and exercise rights of nationality in two countries and be subject to the responsibilities of both. The mere fact he asserts the rights of one citizenship does not without more mean that he renounces the other,” (Kawakita v. U.S., 343 U.S. 717) . However, I have strong reservations about a citizen having loyalty to two countries.  

The word “allegiance” means that we promise loyalty. It also carries with it the expectation that this loyalty will be exclusive and unrestrained. In the case of a declared war or real threat or conflict, for example, our allegiance to Pakistan should preclude any other interest, be it another country or political ideology. Since citizenship carries with it a responsibility to be exclusively loyal to one country, the whole concept of dual citizenship and nationality raises questions about which of the dual citizenships have priority. This is extremely important when the two countries have opposing interests. It can be a deadly problem when a dual citizen is in a high position within our government. Can one imagine a Japanese citizen serving in the Pentagon during WWII? Or how about a citizen of the Soviet Union holding a cabinet position in the White House during the Cold War?

In USA, the pledge to the country and the flag is recited commonly at public events, especially in school classrooms, the words are simple but powerful:

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.(36 U.S.C. § 172).

Some United States, like Texas, have pledges to the State Flag too.

However, the “original” pledge is:

“I pledge allegiance of my flag, and the republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

It was written by  Francis Bellamy on the August of 1892.

The Pledge of Allegiance was written with a strong meaning we all, as citizens, believe in.
“I pledge allegiance,” means I promise to be true.
“To the flag” means to the symbol of out country.
“Of the United States of America” means each state that has
joined to make our country.
“And to the Republic” means a republic is a country where the
people choose others to make laws for them. The government
is for the people.
“For which it stands,” mean the flag stands for the country.
“One Nation” means a single country.
“Under God” means the people believe in a supreme being.
“Indivisible” means the country cannot be split into parts.
“With liberty and justice” means with freedom and fairness.
“For all” means for each person in the country.

These beautiful and loving feelings of the pledge were published in “The Youth’s Companion” that year. The children of American were to recite this pledge on Columbus Day.
During the years of the Pledge’s existence, there have been many suggested changes, but only three were officially made. One of which was made on June 14th, 1923. The government had changed the words “My flag” to “the United States Flag”. The following year, “of America” was added. Thirty-on years later, President Eisenhower signed a law adding “under God” to the pledge.
To this day, there is not a person in America that doesn’t honor the pledge of Allegiance.

Unfortunately, even after 63 years of our existence as a Free Nation, we have yet to develop a pledge to our flag, to reinforce the feeling of oneness amongst all.

This conflict is interwined, though not necessarily, with the second conflict. That of the leaders in a country, investing their personal funds, heavily abroad and not in the country they purport to lead.

Like unconditional support to one flag, should not they be the first to affirm confidence in the country they lead by investing with it’s people and economy? Should not their stakes be high IN the country and not invested abroad? Does not, investing in foreign countries, give out a signal of distrust to the people and world at large? Cannot this policy lead to a conflict of interest? Should not the leaders lead by example and reaffirm confidence in their own country by investing in sectors that need a boost by leading by example? How can they seek foreign investment by not investing first themselves?

Unfortunately, in Pakistan, we see a reverse of the situation needed. Our leaders invest heavily abroad, thereby, in times of distress, jump boat to live in foreign shores, leading a more comfortable and plentiful life than the ones they lived while in Pakistan, to be back to resume the mantle when the time is ripe for their return.

Lack of a workable and an effective taxation system further helps in the rich using the system to fill their coffers and becoming richer. While Pakistan’s income from taxes last year was the lowest in the country’s history, according to Zafar ul-Majeed, a senior official in the Federal Board of Revenue, the assets of current members of Parliament nearly doubled from those of members of the previous Parliament, the institute study found. The rules say that anyone who earns more than $3,488 a year must pay income tax, but few do. Businessmen and politicians channel billions of rupees through Dubai back to Pakistan, no questions asked. Earnings from real estate and land are rarely declared.

The national government, if it wants to be national, ought to govern by the people and for the people, for the outcasts and by the outcasts. No leader, however valuable he may be, can substitute himself for the popular will; and the national government, before concerning itself about international prestige, ought first to give back their dignity to all citizens, fill their minds and feast their eyes with human things, and create a prospect that is human because conscious and sovereign men dwell therein.

“Experto Credite.” (“Trust one who has proved it.” Virgil, 2,000 years ago.)

(The writer is a Lahore based lawyer, teaching in a University).

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Comments

  • Varris Hasan  On September 15, 2010 at 7:05 am

    Dear YAA

    You have touched upon a very pertinent point, overlooked by many.

    Shaukat Aziz is a shiny example. Picked up his Brief case and
    disappeared.

    I think a campaign for consititutional amendment must be launched.
    Before taking oath as a member of parliament evry member will have to
    renounce his dual nationality and cancel his foreign Passport. That
    would make some think twice about contesting elections.

    Varris

    • pakpotpourri2  On September 15, 2010 at 2:09 pm

      Dear Sir
      Your suggestion made me smile.We do not need a Constitutional Amendment.We need to rewrite the Constitution in entity! Sir.
      YAA

  • Habib  On September 15, 2010 at 7:06 am

    Good point.
    HH

  • FM  On September 15, 2010 at 7:07 am

    I am harping on this point for a very long time but it will not be allowed to happen in Pakistan. Imagine if USA passes a bill that only one Nationality. You will agree with me that there will be none who will denounce US Citizenship including Islam keiy Thakedar and die hard Pakistanis?
    FM

  • Syed Wajahat Hussain  On September 15, 2010 at 7:17 am

    A leader is a person who is dedicated to a cause other than him/her self. The soul purpose of an elected person today appears to be just
    to get into a position to fill his/her coiffures and bail out to country when the tenor ends. This trend is not just confined to public officials.

    Take for example the students. Most of the education for Doctors, lawyers and engineers is subsidized. Students take this advantage get their
    degrees then go abroad on pretense of higher education, never to return. All those subsidies that were given to the student from the Government
    treasury, wasted, as the country never sees any returns from its investment into that student.

    The brain drain has now become the culture of the country. There is absolutely no sense of the fact that earning abroad
    means the benefits of education and expertise obtained in the country is exploited by the foreigners for their gains.
    While the nation slides gradually but surely into debt and bankruptcy.

    The only way this culture can be turned around is to re educate the population in characteristics of self reliance, individuality and
    sharing with fellow citizens. Money is not the only media that makes a nation wealthy. Action, knowledge and dedication
    to the cause also are major contributors to a country’s wealth.

    Nations such as USA and Canada did not just happen, it was the dedication, hard work and sharing amongst the population that
    made these nations great. This was a tradition that took birth due to the hardships faced by its immigrants.

    Whereas, Pakistan simply got handed over to the population of NWFP, Panjab, Sindh and Baluchistan on a silver platter.
    Very few of this population ever had to struggle to gain the footing like the immigrants to the Americas had to. It is hence
    we do not have the understanding of the value of what we have and what we will be loosing when the state fails.

    Education and dedication along with sacrifice is required in order to turn this around. Perhaps, the current leaders
    should be given whatever they desire in monetary compensation and exile them to the west. Then fill the vacuum with new,
    young, intelligent, educated, motivated and highly dedicated individuals, who have the capacity to fight to rebuild while
    sustaining themselves with dried bread and thatched roof over their head.

    Syed Wajahat Hussain

    • pakpotpourri2  On September 15, 2010 at 2:11 pm

      Dear Wajahat Sahib
      Every person has a right to seek personal advantage.The discussion here,however,is in specific context to leaders with relation to dual nationality & personal investments.
      Best
      YAA

  • Khalil Hasan  On September 15, 2010 at 7:43 am

    The article lightly touches the issue of faulty process of selecting people;s representatives to parliament and other leadership position which needs to be improved. However the focus is on dual citizenship and its implication in a a situation where there is serious conflict of interest. The article describes the behavior pattern of our people with shared loyalty. There is, however, another painful dimension of the dual nationality. For quite some time we have seen a term “country of origin” which defines the initial citizenship where people have dual nationality. Unfortunately, in case of a conflict, such people can not hide their origin which puts them in a situation where by they are either used as tools and are made to work against their own country (country of origin) or they, on their own, choose to act against their own country to demonstrate and prove their loyalty to the host country.

    • pakpotpourri2  On September 15, 2010 at 9:01 am

      Dear Khalil Sahib
      Welcome on board to Pakpotpourri. Your comment is painfully valid . Thank you for pointing it out.
      YAA

  • Iqbal  On September 15, 2010 at 7:44 am

    YAA, why blame only the leaders? The masses must take a large portion of the blame for allowing the exploitation to continue unabated. We talk about Islam but are the worst of the lot. Selfishness, exploitation, corruption, lying, cheating, killings, being dirty, filthy and having a total disregard for law is common place amongst all. Be it the rich & educated or the poor and illiterate.

    We have to become more responsibile and civil. We have to become honest and law abiding with a strong civic sense. Till we do not change & point fingers at ourselves and ask what is wrong with the whole society, the whole nation, and what needs to be done to bring about a change for the better, how can we expect to have honest leadership? The leaders are from amongst us, they are part & parcel of the society and the nation. They are us and we are them.

    • pakpotpourri2  On September 15, 2010 at 9:03 am

      Dear Iqbal,
      It is good to hear your voice after a very long time.Though I cannot but agree with you, it is also a fact that honesty travels up to down not the other way round.It is the leaders who must lead by example only then can they stop all that that you correctly point out.
      YAA

      • Iqbal  On September 15, 2010 at 9:55 am

        Dear Yasmeen,
        If we become honest we will find honest people to elect amongst ourselves. The whole system is dishonest as it has become a way of normal day to day life for us. Can anything get done in Pakistan without Rishwat or Sirafish? Does the common man who has no “connections” get any where in any sphere of life, be it Government or in the non-Government sphere?

  • Khalil Hasan  On September 15, 2010 at 7:46 am

    The article lightly touches the issue of faulty process of selecting people’s representatives to parliament and other leadership positions which needs to be improved. However the focus is on dual citizenship and its implication in a situation where there is serious conflict of interest. The article describes the behavior pattern of our people with shared loyalty. There is, however, another painful dimension of the dual nationality. For quite some time we have seen a term “country of origin” which defines the initial citizenship where people have dual nationality. Unfortunately, in case of a conflict, such people can not hide their origin which puts them in a situation where by they are either used as tools and are made to work against their own country (country of origin) or they, on their own, choose to act against their own country to demonstrate and prove their loyalty to the host country.

  • GRK  On September 15, 2010 at 8:57 am

    All these current actors (I call them jokers) are gutless, clueless, selfish, hungry for more money and certainly do not have a heart. How come looking to the television screens the soul and spirit of these so called defenders of democracy have not moved. And that to in the month of holy Ramadan. Mr Khurshid Kasuri ,one of the richest person in Pakistan, had to wait to come on television with his mentor to donate Rs 500,000.

    Please forgive me for giving a very silly example. When I was working abroad and use to get 80,000 dollars tax free salary per year. I established a charity which was dutifully supervised by my late uncle who was General Manager with Pakistan Tobacco.

    Throughout Pakistan we used to receive letters and after proper investigations in nearly 6 years, we distributed US dollars 350,000 to nearly 5,000 poor countrymen in the shape of push carts, sewing machines, small capital for running grocery shops. Clothes in Ramadan and wheel chairs and I don’t remember how many other things.

    They have no loyalty or love for their country or even the village or city where they have graves of their forefathers. How many luxurious apartments and numbered accounts in Switzerland belongs to richy richy pakis no one knows.

    Believe you me, if all of them approximately 5000 billionaires come forward and donate only 1 million dollar (5 billion dollars) and also take hefty tax exemption, we shall not need 1 penny from the world.

    Will they give up their nationalities on oath forget it, they are meant to break the promises and oaths. For money and a position, they can sell their daughters and wives. I don’t need to be more blunt or bitter we all know what is going on. GRK

  • Sadia hameed  On September 15, 2010 at 9:37 am

    YOU HAVE RIGHTLY STATED,YASMEEN.
    HERE WE HAVE A LONG LINE OF THESE TRAITORS,EARLIER IT HAD BEEN THE BRITISH PASS PORT FOR WHICH THEY WOULD DO A JUMP,NOW THE AMERICAN IS AS VITAL.MANY SO CALLED PATRIOTS CAME,AND SAT ON THE THRONE OF ISLAMABAD, THEY DID A LOT OF CHANGES IN THE LAWS,SOME DID AWAY WITH THE CONSTITUTION TOO,BUT NOT ONE OF THEM HAD THE ACTUAL ”GUTS” TO STRIKE OUT THE CLAUSE OF ”DUAL NATIONALITY’.
    SHAME ON THEM ALL !!!!

    • SHAHZADA YASIR  On September 15, 2010 at 9:57 am

      one can only hope that one day some good Pakistani who sits on the throne of Islamabad and does not fear these pressure groups strikes off the clause which allows the dual nationality.

    • pakpotpourri2  On September 15, 2010 at 1:53 pm

      Thank you for understanding the point Sadia.
      YAA

  • Ayesha  On September 15, 2010 at 9:41 am

    Well well it seems the boat of our loyalists has been ROCKED, who claim to be Pakistani’s and are not by any score if you read ‘Yasmeen’s article,shame on them,for having dual nationalities.

    • pakpotpourri2  On September 15, 2010 at 1:54 pm

      Ayesha unfortunately,our law makers will do nothing to hit their own interests.It is a vicious circle,no?
      YAA

  • Faisal Malik  On September 15, 2010 at 10:08 am

    have to agree with you yas, and the comments are very right.

    question is, will it matter????

    after all the negative feedback about fake degree holders etc, the corrupt from the thugs still got elected/selected. in the by-elections.

    who elected/selected them?? ( i doubt people care enough to vote anymore, the majority………its rigging, atleast for me, that they get 60 or 70 thousand votes still.)

    i hope that the next elections showcase us as progressing positively as a nation, and it shows in the election results.

    but will there be a non-biased or unafraid election commission?? i highly doubt it.

    • pakpotpourri2  On September 15, 2010 at 2:01 pm

      The important thing is Faisal,people like you and me realize the wrong. When people like you and me understand this-things will have to change.In due course of time.

      • Faisal Malik  On September 15, 2010 at 2:50 pm

        hope so.

  • Faisal Malik  On September 15, 2010 at 10:11 am

    the news reporters/investigators like ansar abbasi should do well, to take on this as an assignment. find out all the parliamentarians, as well as bureaucrats, political leaders within or outside the parliament, who have dual citizenship/foreign bank accounts (known/unknown) and the media as a whole should start a campaign against such people then.

    to either let go of the foreign soil in any which way, or let go of Pak soil. forever.

  • Munir Varraich  On September 15, 2010 at 10:26 am

    YAA,
    Dual Nationality creates choas in the conscience of the human being, especially in time of war. This concept can be quite in harmony with polthyism (many gods) but can create a chaos in a mindset which can remain in harmony only with monotheism (Unity of God) Muslim mindset. To stretch it a bit further, this “divided loyalty” promotes “munafiqqat” in a society.

    Thus, if once such a concept is accepted and given respectability, the logical consequence is “munafaqat” in the national psyche, in every undertaking of nation building.

    In which ever institution in Pakistan, this “dual nationality” is strictly forbidden, those institutions are very clear about their loyalties. e.g. the armed forces, etc.

    I will not ellaborate further on other aspect of this latest psychological instrument of mind control of mankind by the world’s elite. It forms an important part of the “New World Order” Agenda.

    The first step to save Pakistan from this virus is to immediately make a clear distinction on this issue. And that is NO Dual Nationality. Either you are a Pakistani or your are not. Make your choice.

    MAV

  • Parvez Amin  On September 15, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    I have worked out the basics of a system that transparently selects and democratically empowers leaders on merit. Currently it is being vetted. The next step is to launch a political party based on the system.

    The system is strong on logic and makes sense. Unfortunately, at this point in time the written material that will explain it is still some time away, but I can discuss it with anyone who would like to join the groups I am forming to support it.

    • pakpotpourri2  On September 15, 2010 at 2:04 pm

      Thank you PA for the confidence.However, no one can have a blind date.Maybe you can outline the system & we can run it on Pakpotpourri?
      YAA

  • Salman Abbasy  On September 15, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Your questions and concerns are very valid. Since you have cited the case of the U.S., I would like to add my two penny worth about safeguards raised by the U.S. and India.
    The U.S. Government recognizes that dual nationality exists but does not encourage it as a matter of policy because of the problems it may cause. Thus, a U.S. citizen who acquires a foreign citizenship by applying for it may lose U.S. citizenship.
    People who are not natural-born citizens are constitutionally ineligible to the office of President, as are persons who are not at least thirty-five years old or have not resided in the United States for fourteen years.
    The United States presidential line of succession defines who may become or act as President of the United States upon the incapacity, death, resignation, or removal from office of a sitting president or a president-elect.
    The order of succession is the Vice President, Speaker of the House, President pro tempore of the Senate, Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, etc.
    As President Clinton’s Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright was not included in the order of succession because she was born in Czechoslovakia.
    The Constitution of India does not allow dual citizenship. Government of India does grant Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) to persons of Indian origin who migrated from India and acquired citizenship of a foreign country other than Pakistan or Bangladesh. An OCI is entitled to lifelong benefit of visa free travel to India. An OCI, however, does not get an Indian passport or voting rights and cannot hold the constitutional posts of President, Vice President, Judge of the Supreme Court/High Court, or membership of the Union (federal) or State (provincial) parliaments.
    In March this year, the upper house of the German parliament, the Bundesrat, voted down a petition to allow dual citizenship for the German-born children of foreign nationals.
    In Pakistan, we could begin by requiring candidates for the office of President, Prime Minister, Cabinet Minister, Member of Parliament, Ambassador, etc. to renounce, formally and publicly, any foreign nationality or right of residence that they may have acquired or received.

    • pakpotpourri2  On September 15, 2010 at 2:06 pm

      Thank you Salman for filling in the details which were a little lengthy for the subject of the article itself.
      I am extremely grateful for the details elucidating upon the base of the article.
      Warm Regards
      YAA

  • MAD  On September 15, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    I believe the wording is a little different
    KAHAN TAK SUNO GEY KAHAN TAK SUNAON, HAZAROAN HAIN SHIKWAEY KIA KIA BATAON

    Even this is subject to amendments

    • pakpotpourri2  On September 15, 2010 at 2:06 pm

      🙂
      Bazeecha-e-Atfal hai duniya mairay agay?
      Well said Gen. Durrani.
      YAA

  • Ahmed  On September 15, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    dual nationality means duplicity.It must be either Pakistan or others only.If some body keeps british or american antionalty ,he/she should not be given sensitive post in pakistan.
    AAS

    • pakpotpourri2  On September 15, 2010 at 2:07 pm

      Bravo Ahmed.Spoken short & sweet!
      YAA

      • Faisal Malik  On September 15, 2010 at 2:54 pm

        are we the only people in the world to have imported the prime ministers from the foreign???

        we are surely the ONLY nuclear power that imported its prime ministers right??

  • Inam Khan  On September 15, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    ‘Personal Aaggrandizement’ is the name of game…………..Inam Khan

  • pakpotpourri2  On September 15, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    Dear Iqbal
    You are correct. When A sees B is getting away with everything, A too will attempt a wrong recourse to get things done. That is what I stated in my earlier response to you:honesty must travel up to down. Not in reverse.Exemplary,across board punishments fotr the wrong doer-no matter how big or small the offence!
    YAA

  • Ayesha Khan  On September 15, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Excellent point raised, both about dual nationality and having assets/wealth abroad.There is a clear lack of commitment to Pakistan’s economy if the leader’s have their major assets accruing in another country. A politician who is in such a position where he can take flight at any moment cannot empathize with his constituents which is what we have observe and is currently visible. Moreover, no matter what anyone says when one’s leaders and representatives invest and stash their savings abroad, it conveys a negative image not just of him/her as an individual but reflects poorly on the country, its investment credibility and also on the people and their apparent apathy to the situation. I remember an Indian colleague of mine telling me that leaders of their country have all their investment and assets in India. I never verified that, but one doesn’t hear anything about the Indian Politicians running away with public monies or national wealth and settling abroad whether in self exile or otherwise.

    I also agree with Iqbal sb’ comments that the people must check this. It is integral to the democratic process – people voice their concerns and ensure that the the system of checks and balances in the election of our representatives protects the integrity of the individuals, the institutions they aspire to and of the country’s economic credibility. The people need to rally round on this matter it will contribute to improved transparency and accountability of the politicians and the process will lead to the political empowerment of the masses.

  • Qamar Iqbal  On September 15, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    How many people in leading positions (Prime Ministers, Presidents, and other Ministers, etc) in Pakistan had duel citizenship? I am sure just a few, and I only know one Shukat Aziz (there may be some others that I do not have the knowledge of). However, I have no reservation in saying that Shukat Aziz performed better than many other finance ministers and Prime ministers that we had. Please note that my evaluation is not based on political biases, I have no sympathy to any party or person.

    How and why we be so sure that a Pakistani with duel citizenship is less sincere to Pakistan then people like Benazir, Zardari, Sharif brothers and many other in line.

    The issue is not of duel citizenship, it is honesty and professionalism that we need. A professional when he is hired for a job he does it with best of his abilities and full sincerities. Fake patriotism is of no use.

    I agree with Yasmeen we need a totally new political system, and a legal and judicial system which ensures that people will be punished for breaking laws and justice will be served. Whole system needs to be reformed to make sure leadership and common people all behave like good citizens.

    God Bless Pakistan.

    Qamar Iqbal

    • pakpotpourri2  On September 15, 2010 at 3:53 pm

      Thank you Qamar Iqbal for the view. However, divided loyalty is no loyalty.
      Best
      YAA

      • Faisal Malik  On September 15, 2010 at 4:27 pm

        very true yas.

        just as they say, you can not ride two boats at the same time.

      • Qamar Iqbal  On September 15, 2010 at 6:04 pm

        Is there loyalty among the leaders in our assemblies with just Pakistani citizenship? If not 100%, 99% are there for personal gains only. That goes beyond legitimate gains and takes the form of misuse of power and looting country’s resources. Is that the loyality we are seeking here?

        A truthful and professional behaviour ensures loyality to the commitment that one has made and that is the kind of loyality needed in every position. It could be the highly placed PM or President, unless they are honest and professional it does not matter whether they hold another passport or not.

        It is commonly understood that people are loyal to their origin. Example is overseas Pakistani’s who always help Pakistan in difficult times. many of them have US or European citizenships.

        Acquiring passport of a country where your employment is facilitate your life better, it does not mean you have given up loyality to your country of origin.

        I will just stop here for now.

        Qamar

  • pakpotpourri2  On September 15, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Dear Qamar Iqbal
    No it does not mean giving up loyalty to your country but when you emerge as a LEADER it can cause a conflict in 2 loyalties & relegate the loyalty to your country of origin on secondary level.
    Kindly note,we are specifically focusing on LEADERS/PARLIMENTARIANS who also hold strategic positions in their country of origin.
    Best
    YAA

  • owaise saadat  On September 15, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    The subject matter of dual nationality is important insofar as holding” high public and /or elected office is concerned, while claiming dual Citizenship. The article explains the US legal stance on dual nationality… what does Pakistani Laws say about holding dual nationality? Indian laws forbids it, punto!!!

    As for the second point raised namely about investing overseas there is nothing inherently wrong in this …as long as the invested capital is kosher and profits are repatriated legally. In fact, overseas investments by Pakistani’s is supposed to be a healthy sign in that it denotes a flexible foreign exchange regime and enterprenuership on the part of the country’s Citizens. Conflating foreign investments with unpatriotic acts is sheer emotionalism. But one quickly hearkens back to the point…are these investments driven by illegal capital flight, are the profits retained overseas unduly or repatriated back to the investors company, are taxes being set off against dual taxations arrangements etc?

    It is therefore of utmost importance to define clearly Pakistan’s legal stance on dual nationality. Secondly, there already exists SBP Rules about Pakistani Citizens holding foreign bank accounts…these should be streamlined and be made punitive, if necessay. BTW, since last year the US IRS requires all Citizens and PR’s t disclose ones foreign bank accounts with Annual Tax returns if these accounts have held…during the tax year…more than $10K. Good laws make good Citizens! Unfortunately, Pakistan is known for the absence of Rule of Law.

    • Qamar Iqbal  On September 16, 2010 at 12:54 am

      US does not have to allow for a dual citizenship, but it did for economic and political flexibility that could be beneficial at times. Natuiralized citizen (citizen by immigration and not born in the US) can not become the President, however, they can be appointed at all other high level positions based on Merit. Competency, Professionalism and Honesty is the criterion. Naturalized citizen can become Senators, house representatives, Mayors, Governors, etc. Most American Jews (US born and naturalized) have Israeli passport and many work at high positions in the government in the US. Israel provides an opportunity to Jews of dual citizenship status to come and work in Israel to help the country develop.

      Pakistan can have similar rules and standard as US has. I and most people would not disagree with that .

      Dual citizenship keep the door opened for talented, highly qualified, experienced individuals to return to the country and contribute to its development and help to bring positive changes. China is an example, where their cabinet was filled with PhD’s and experts who have lived and worked abroad for long period of time and gathered precious experience in various field.

      As far as investing abroad goes, there should be some rules allowing that investment. If a Pakistani citizen earns money in Pakistan and then takes it out of the country to make investment somewhere else, I would like to make sure that Pakistan is benefited from it. Pakistan needs a lot of investment in all sectors and the rate of profit is very high in Pakistan. Direct investment in Pakistan economy creates employment, and comntribute to economic development. I would say a patriotic Pakistani should first look into investment opportunities within the country.

      For any serioes policy making, it should not target just a few people. We should see a biger picture and analyze all the relevant details.

      It is about a system that facilitate election of competent, honest and sincere people. That will solve Pakistan’s problems. Karachi’s former Mayor (from MQM) is an example. I do not remember his name but I can not forget the amazing work that he has done during his tenure. I believe he is the best leader Pakistan has so far. This example does not mean that I am endorsing MQM or supporting them in any way. I always criticize them but will give them credit for whatever good they have done.

      Leaders should not try to become God or Godess, they should do their job and leave peacefully.

      First of all we all should be honest in expressing our views and in our conduct.

      Long Live Pakistan
      Qamar Iqbal

  • owaise saadat  On September 16, 2010 at 1:15 am

    Dear Qamar,

    I concur that dual nationality has many benefits…recently the two Ghanian brothers, soccer stars went different ways. One played for Ghana against Germany though he is a Citizen of both countries. The other brother played for Germany. Mobility between countries promotes efficiency. But, first generation immigrants will always have to face the dilemma of choice. I guess what YAA is noting is that Pakistani’s with foreign passports and accounts…bleed Pakistan and exploit its people until its time to EXIT!!! There should be stringent laws against such exploitative activities and down right criminal behavior. Lets not throw out the dual nationality babay out with the water. Finally Qamar Sahib business does not care for egalitarian and social considerations…its money that motivates them, punto!!!

    • pakpotpourri2  On September 16, 2010 at 1:23 am

      Absolutely- Owais.You got the point.I think Qamar sahib is an expat . However, like you state the purpose is to check the disloyalties of vested interests. You have every right to disagree with my discourse but I do and will strongly oppose anyone contesting for public office to have a dual nationality.This however does not have anything to do with the common man who is NOT running for public office to have dual nationality.
      But it is beyond being reasonable, lets say to have an Interior Minister,or a PM with a British or US nationality!
      Let us not get beyond the pale of being reasonable.
      Best
      YAA

      • Qamar Iqbal  On September 16, 2010 at 3:54 pm

        Yasmeen, you got it right I am an expat. That has helped me to understand the greater sincereity with Pakistan that most expat have. We learn a lot from the system that we live in.

        I was eligible for US citizenship long time ago, but applied for it only when US-pakistan had reached dual citizenship agreement.

        I travel internationally for my work, which is very difficult on Pakistani passport, as you can imagine. Now I dont even need visa for most places. Yes, I admit it serves my peresonal interest. But it is not a measure of my loyality to Pakistan or US.

        I am a naturalized citizen in the US of Pakistani origin, still (theoritically speaking) I can cotest to be appointed for any public office other than the President of the United State.

        I agree with you on the point that there should be laws which can make it difficult or impossible for people in high public position to get away with corruption, giving up their foreign nationality could be one of the requirements. But that alone would not solve the problem. We need to reform the entire political and judicial system in Pakistan to ensure that wrong people do not get in the position of power.

        God Bless Pakistan

        Qamar

  • pakpotpourri2  On September 16, 2010 at 1:17 am

    Thank you Qamar Sahib-however much as your views are appreciated they have nothing to do with the points propagated in the article which is leaders/parlimentarians specific only.
    I completely disagree & oppose dual nationality. It creates disharmony within the individuals generally though there are always exceptions,plus,a divided loyalty to the country of origin & the country of adoption is dangerous by being weak.
    Please realize we are talking in a particular context.
    Anyone desirous of running of public office in Pakistan must give up a dual nationality if owns one. There are no two ways about it. Though it does not ensure loyalty, it certainly makes jumping boat inconvenient.
    Best
    YAA

  • Yaqoot  On September 16, 2010 at 1:30 am

    From you article:
    “To this day, there is not a person in America that doesn’t honor the pledge of Allegiance”.

    People from a faith called “Jehova’s Witness” do not honor the pledge of allegiance. Saluting the flag is prohibited in their religion.

    • pakpotpourri2  On September 16, 2010 at 1:36 am

      Indeed you are right.There are always exceptions to the rule.On the flip side of the coin-every nation on the earth respects the flag of its country. Flag hoisting ceremonies on public occasions ,lowering of flag as mark of grief-are all symbols to reflect the sentiments of a NATION. Waving of flags on tournaments, placing them on our roof tops on country’s birthday are all examples of allegiance to the flag!

  • S U Turkman  On September 16, 2010 at 2:36 am

    Even if Dual Citizenship is permitted by Pakistan, not many US Citizens would want to travel on Pak Passport because US Passport gives them protection and Pakistan does not. Anybody can keep renewing his Pak Passport and travel on it without telling Pak Authorities that he is a US Citizen even now. When landing in USA, they can show their US Passport so, they are not stopped for entering USA on Pak Passport that has no US Visa. How many do?
    Former Pakistanis living abroad for years should have no right to vote in Pak Elections anyway because they do not know the candidates. No country permits this. Not even Israel. The Voter has to be in Israel to vote in Elections if he is a Dual Citizen. No Ballot Papers are mailed abroad to Dual Citizens.

    • pakpotpourri2  On September 16, 2010 at 11:35 am

      The point under discussion is dual passport of PAKISTANIS thus bringing in dispute their loyalty.
      Best
      YAA

  • Asad Rehman  On September 16, 2010 at 4:33 am

    Why are we only looking at Politicians…there are many in the Military, Judiciary and Bureaucracy of various ranks who stash their fortunes away in foreign accounts and pursue dual citizenship. We are not looking at the elephant standing in the middle of the room. If the Law cracks down on these elements, it will have the moral strength to crack down on the Politicians. Corruption is rife at all levels, let us admit that. Investing legally obtained money abroad is not a crime. If ex-leaders are so convinced that they did the right thing, why are they not living in the country in the high walled ‘Palaces’ that they have built for themselves. I am sorry, but most of the comments that I have read above, seep with hypocrisy….

    • pakpotpourri2  On September 16, 2010 at 11:33 am

      Dear Asad
      Serving Army or Forces Officers cannot have dual citizenship. Two, yes,if you are not a public servant-it is a personal right to invest within Pakistan & abroad. However, if there is accountability across board, others will not be able to stash LOOT abroad.This is distinct from hard earned money.

  • Ayaz Ahmad  On September 16, 2010 at 7:14 am

    Yasmeen, you have hit the nail on the head, as usual.
    Belief in one God, and having full faith in Him qualifies you as a true Muslim, any duality of faith or belief renders you a renegade and untrustworthy.
    Similarly, belief in one nationality and full faith in your country qualifies you as a national. Your loyalty is valid and intentione are acceptable. Any duality in nationality renders you undependable, a saleable commodity and therefore untrusworthy, hence unacceptable.
    The fact of dual nationity indicates that the man is not wholly loyal to any country and is a self server. The fact hat he buys property outside Pakistan shows that he has no confidence or trust in Pakistan.
    Any one with a dual nationality will have his loyalty towards the stronger country. As such he is unreliable, undependable and should be unacceptable. These people are self servers, and SELLERS OF THEIR MOTHERS. They must be eliminated from our body politic, they and their decendants. Otherwise, we’d have ‘scotched the snake, not killed it’.

    I may sound harsh, but I speak from the heart, hoping I will reach some.
    Good luck in your excellent work.
    I am proud of you.
    Bless you.
    Ayaz

    • pakpotpourri2  On September 16, 2010 at 11:34 am

      Dear Sir
      I am deeply humbled by your input.
      Thank you.
      Warm Regards
      YAA

  • pakpotpourri2  On September 17, 2010 at 1:36 am

    Please read this, the reference link given along with as well:
    How Rich are Pakistani MNAs?: PPPP MNA tops list with Rs3.288bn

    ISLAMABAD: A comparative analysis of the assets declared by MNAs belonging to the 12th and the 13th National Assembly of Pakistan revealed that the average value of an MNA’s assets has increased three folds in six years from 2002-2003 to 2008-2009.

    The average value of an MNA’s Assets in the 12th National Assembly was just below Rs. 27 million in 2002-2003 which has increased to almost Rs. 81 million in 2008-2009, a 3-fold increase in six years, according to a Pildat Analysis of the Declarations of Assets submitted by MNAs, said a news release issued on Tuesday.

    The analysis also indicates that an average MNA of the current (13th) National Assembly is twice as rich compared to his/her counterpart in the previous (12th) National Assembly.

    The Pildat report series titled How Rich are Pakistani MNAs? has analyzed assets declared by MNAs for the years 2002-2003 to 2005-2006; 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 through 3 separate reports.

    The latest of this series of Pildat reports, comparing assets declared by MNAs belonging to the 13th (current) National Assembly of Pakistan, has used data contained in the Gazettes published by the Election Commission of Pakistan on October 15 2008 and October 27 2009.

    The report depicts that the current average value of assets held by an MNA stands at Rs. 80.89 million, based on the 2008-2009 declarations.

    This figure demonstrates a modest increase of 9.5% from the 2007-2008 figure of Rs 73.92 million. The average value of assets owned by non-Muslim MNAs, Rs 20.35 million, is 75% lower than the overall average of almost Rs 81 million, based on 2008-2009 figures.

    In terms of individual wealth, the 2008-2009 declarations reveal the wealthiest MNA to be Mehboob Ullah Jan (NA-23, Kohistan, KP, PPPP) with total assets of Rs. 3.288 billion. He is followed by Shahid Khaqan Abbasi (NA-50, Rawalpindi-I, Punjab, PML-N), with total assets of Rs. 1.627 billion, Jahangir Khan Tareen (NA-195, R.Y.Khan-IV, Punjab, PML-F) with total assets of Rs 1.095 billion, Saeed Ahmed Zafar (NA-162, Nankana Sahib-II Old Sheikhupura-VII, Punjab, IND) with total assets of Rs 1.030 billion, and Nuzhat Sadiq (NA-277, Punjab-V, PML-N) with total assets of Rs 912.81 million.

    In 2007-2008 declarations reveal the wealthiest MNA to be Mehboob Ullah Jan (NA-23, Kohistan, KP, PPPP) with total assets of Rs 3.252 billion.

    He is followed by Nuzhat Sadiq (NA-277, Punjab-V, PML-N), with total assets of Rs 1.514 billion, Chaudhry Zahid Iqbal (NA-162, Sahiwal-III, Punjab, PPPP), with assets amounting to Rs 1.248 billion, Chaudhry Nazir Ahmed Jatt (NA-167, Vehari-I, Punjab, PML) (who later resigned while facing charges of processing a fake degree; Chaudhary Asghar Ali Jatt is re-elected on this seat in by-election 2010), with assets worth Rs. 843 million and Mr. Jahangir Khan Tareen (NA-195, R.Y.Khan-IV, Punjab, PML -F), with assets amounting to Rs. 716 million.

    At the other end of the assets spectrum, the least wealthy MNAs in 2008-2009 is Saeed Iqbal Chaudhary (NA-81, Faisalabad-VII, Punjab, PPPP) with approximately Rs 29 million net liabilities, followed by Roshan Din Junejo (NA-236, Sanghar-III, Sindh, PPPP), Sheikh Rohale Asghar (NA-124 Lahore-VII, Punjab, PML-N), Ghulam Farid Kathia, (NA-161 Sahiwal-II, Punjab, PPPP), Minister of State for Education, and Ayaz Amir (NA-60 Chakwal-I, Punjab, PML-N).

    Nuzhat Sadiq (NA-277, Women Punjab-V, PML-N), has remained the richest female MNA in 2008-2009 and 2007-2008, with assets worth Rs 912.81 million and Rs 1.514 billion respectively.

    The second richest female MNA in the current National Assembly is Asma Arbab Alamgir (NA-325, Women KP-IV, PPPP) with assets of 515.25 million and 682.05 million in 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 respectively while Belum Hasnain (NA-292, Women Punjab-XX, PPPP) with assets of 332.50 million in 2007-2008 and 298.40 million in 2008-2009 is the third richest female MNA.

    Mohammad Kamran Khan (NA-40, Tribal Area-V, FATA, IND) proved to be the most effective asset manager whose assets grew 42 times from over the period of a year, followed by Maulana Muhammad Qasim (NA-10, NA-10 Mardan-II, KP, MMA), with a 12 time increase in assets and Bilal Yaseen (NA-120, Lahore-III, Punjab, PML-N) whose assets increased 9 times during the period.

    In 2008-2009, the PML-F is the richest or on top of the list in terms of the average wealth of its MNAs (average assets per MNA: Rs 239 million), followed by the NPP Rs 122 million, the independents Rs 108 million; the PPPP Rs 102 million; the PML-N Rs 75 million; the PML Rs 62 million; the ANP Rs 61 million; the PPP-S Rs 37 million; the MQM Rs 25 million; the BNP Rs 14 million and the MMA Rs 6 million.

    These figures demonstrate a 42-fold difference between the average wealth of the MNAs in the party with the greatest average wealth and that with the least. From 2002-2006, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) topped the list in terms of average wealth of its MNA as its lone MNA Imran Khan (NA-71, Mianwali-I, Punjab, PTI, 12th NA) held assets worth Rs 85 million at that time, followed by the PML-N (average assets per MNA at Rs 61 million); PML Rs 56 million and the PPPP Rs 34 million.

    In geographical terms, the differences in average wealth are significant.

    In 2008-2009, MNAs from Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) have the highest average value of assets per MNA followed by those from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Fata, Sindh and Balochistan respectively. Similarly, in 2007-2008, MNAs from the ICT headed the list.

    This trend has been maintained earlier from 2002-2006 when on average an MNA from the ICT was the richest followed by an MNA from Punjab, Fata, Balochistan, Sindh and KP.

    In terms of the percentage share of the combined value of assets in the year 2008-2009, Punjab tops the list, with a share of 54 % (down from 73% in 2002-2006); followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) 31 % (up from 4% share in 2002-2006); Sindh 10 % (down from 11% in 2002-2006); Fata maintaining its 3 %; ICT 1 % (down from 5% in 2002-2006) and Balochistan at 1 % (down from 4% in 2002-2006).
    http://www.thenews.com.pk/Latest-news/1231.htm

  • Dr.M.Shahbaz Mirza Chairman A S R S M  On September 17, 2010 at 8:45 am

    Thanks Yasmeen ALi, the topics are very serious, and the time is very short. soon I ‘ll get back to you thks.

  • Syed Ataur Rahman  On September 17, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Yesmeen you have a very pertinent point. I completely agree with you that Pakistan should not allow dual citizenship because of divided loyalties. It might not be important for governments of Britain, USA or Australia. They have systems in vogue that cannot be circumvented. Not so here. People can be bought so easily. And yes these biggies in this country have little loyalties. They can pack and shift their country of residence at will. All of them have huge houses and money stashed abroad. But who will bell the cat. The politicians or the Parliament, no never. They will only look after their own interests, not of their country. It is very sad. But your point is absolutely valid. Pakistanis must be Pakistanis only; never allowed dual nationality.

  • Haidre  On September 17, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    Individuals having dual nationality should be barred from contesting elections in Pakistan or holding any sensitive / decision making positions in the govt.

  • Haidre  On September 17, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    A high level Court of Inquiry should be convened to investigate as to how assets of these people have doubled and tripled in such a short span of time and especially when the economy of the country and businesses are doing so extremely badly. Those who can justify should be honored but those who cannot justify must be shot the way they do in China.

  • Ali Anwar  On September 18, 2010 at 7:34 am

    Yasmin
    Salam

    “Ours is a time when knowledge and information are expanding at an accelerating and, perhaps, unsettling pace. There exists, therefore, an unprecedented capacity for improving the human condition. And yet, ills such as abject poverty and ignorance, and the conflicts these breed, continue to afflict the world. The Qur’an addresses this challenge eloquently. The power of its message is reflected in its gracious disposition to differences of interpretation; its respect for other faiths and societies; its affirmation of the primacy of the intellect; its insistence that knowledge is worthy when it is used to serve Allah’s creation; and, above all, its emphasis on our common humanity” Prince Karim Aga Khan.

    The flow in our sense of patriotism comes from the ‘Constitution’. It is time we rewrite the frame in its entirety, and its not a sacred cow that we can not do so.

    – Anwar

    • pakpotpourri2  On September 18, 2010 at 8:02 am

      Wassalam Ali
      I agree with you. As a lawyer, let me state,all our Constitutions stem from the Act of India 1935 that was a blue print by foreign power to rule an alien country.Our legal eagles have completely failed to write a Constitution for a FREE NATION.
      Constitution 1973 needs a complete rewrite.
      YAA

  • Ali Anwar  On September 18, 2010 at 7:44 am

    Congrats Yasmeen. I salute your patriotism and love for Pakistan.
    The flow in our sense of patriotism comes from the ‘Constitution’. It is time we rewrite the frame in its entirety, and its not a sacred cow that we can not do so.

  • Inam Khan  On September 18, 2010 at 9:00 am

    To achieve all this there has to be a minimum level of Bench Mark of
    conscience ,commitment and fair mindedness.I am sorry all this is
    missing in our nation if we can call ourselves a
    nation.?……….Inam Khan

    • Anwer Kadri  On September 18, 2010 at 10:30 pm

      Well done Yasmeen……..How on earth can we entrust the future of our country in the hands of the people who do not have their own future in the country.What kind of an insane behaviour it is. Trust and loyalty are like virginity, you lose it only once.

      • pakpotpourri2  On September 19, 2010 at 3:21 am

        I completely agree Sir. And Inam.
        Thank you for the kind words.

  • Shaheen Atiq ur Rehman  On September 19, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    Yasmeen

    …You have many ‘Thinkers’ & some’doers’ on your blog…throw a ? to
    them to make suggesstions how to see (make?) the Patwari play a
    more’ethical or tranparent role’…when demacating the lands of the
    flood victims…………as papers, & records will not be available,
    all buj’s etc…land markings gone….the autoctaic landlord + MNA
    /MPA’ s (esp theIr munshi’s) hovering like vultures for the kill
    …suggesstions….

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