June Issue 2012
The Chat Room: Dual Citizenship: Split Allegiances?
Topic: Can dual nationalities lead to conflicting allegiances?
Who: Moderator, Amna R. Ali, is joined by panelists Dr Arif Alvi (the Secretary General of the Tehreek-e-Insaaf), Dr Haider K. Nizamani (lecturer in political science and frequently published freelance writer) and Saad Rasool (lawyer).
Many countries do not permit dual nationals to be elected to public office. In Australia you cannot sit in parliament if you have a dual nationality and in India dual nationality does not exist at all. Some countries even debar spouses and children of parliamentarians to acquire another citizenship.
Last month, the Supreme Court of Pakistan suspended Farahnaz Ispahani’s membership to the National Assembly and soon afterwards, Rehman Malik’s Senate membership was also revoked on the grounds that he holds dual nationality.
With this in mind, we are conducting a debate on those parliamentarians who hold dual nationality, asking our panelists to talk about the legality of their recent dismissals, and discussing the prevalence of holding dual-citizenship by party members of Pakistan’s political parties.
Saad Rasool is a lawyer based in Lahore. He has a Masters in Constitutional Law from Harvard Law School and has previously written extensively on the subject of parliamentarians with dual nationality.
Dr Arif Alvi is a founding member and the Secretary General of Pakistan’s leading political party, the Tehreek-e-Insaf.
Dr Haider K. Nizamani is lecturer in Political Science at the University of British Columbia and a visiting fellow at SDPI, an Islamabad-based research institute. His fields of specialisation include international politics, security studies and South Asian politics. Dr Nizamani also writes frequently for Pakistani newspapers on politics and national security issues.