KARACHI: Federal cabinet has approved a bill, seeking amendment in the Article 63 (1) of the Constitution of Pakistan, to allow dual nationals to contest polls in the country.
Sources privy to the matter said that a sub-committee of the cabinet rejected an idea to amend the constitution to allow dual nationals from contesting polls in the country. “The decision was, however, reversed in the cabinet meeting on the demand of federal ministers,” they said. The federal cabinet rejected the sub-committee’s recommendations and sent the amendment to the parliamentary affairs ministry for legislation on the matter.
The new amendment although allows the dual nationals to contest polls in the country, however, Adsviser to PM on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan said the
person has to withdraw from his nationality before taking an oath of his responsibility.
“However, we will not have to leave his nationality in case of losing the polls,” he said.
He termed it a landmark decision taken by the prime minister and said that they would table in the amendment in the Parliament for approval.
It is pertinent to mention here that in July 2019, the federal cabinet meeting headed by Prime Minister Imran Khan formed a committee to mull over amendments needed to allow dual nationals to contest polls in the country.The meeting decided that providing overseas Pakistanis with an opportunity to participate in the political process is in the interest of the country.
Under Article 63 (1)(c) of the Constitution, a person shall be disqualified from being elected or chosen as, and from being, a member of the parliament, if he acquires/or has the citizenship of a foreign country.