ISLAMABAD - Since the senior Pakistan People Party (PPP) parliamentarians have failed to sort out disparity over the dual nationality right to parliamentarians, former President Asif Ali Zardari will get himself involved in the matter to resolve the matter in the party ranks by the start of next month (March).
Asif Ali Zardari after his expected return from Dubai by next month will settle the difference of opinion among PPP senior lawmakers from National Assembly and Senate over the right of dual nationality to the parliamentarian, senior PPP legislators shared with The Nation.
The lawmakers of former ruling party (PPP) from Senate and National Assembly (NA) have clear divide over constitutional amendment for giving the right of dual nationality to the parliamentarian for the last couple of weeks.
The article 63 of the constitution about ‘disqualification for membership of parliament’ says, “A person shall be qualified from being elected or chosen as, and from being, a member of the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament), if he ceases to be a citizen of Pakistan, or acquires the citizenship of a foreign State.”
Sources said the PPP lawmakers from lower and Upper houses despite series of parleys to settle the issue amicably could not reach on consensus to introduce amendment in the article 62 & 63 of the constitution (related to dual nationality) in the National Assembly.
Seeking amendments in the article 62 & 63 of the constitution, the sources said, the PPP MNAs were all set to move the National Assembly (NA) but party’s senior senators strongly resisted the idea.
They said PPP Senator Raza Rabbani along with other party’s senators was not in favour of giving right of dual nationality to parliamentarians despite knowing the top brass is in its support.
It would not be out of place to mention here that Rabbani in the former ruling clique (PPP) era had strongly opposed any amendment in this regard and resultantly the previous government failed to move the bill in the Parliament.
A bill in the Senate for putting a bar on all public office holders, bureaucrats and even judges to keep dual nationality had proposed that no dual nationality holder can hold any office of state or join government service.
Source said the major opposition had almost finalised amendments in the related clauses to introduce in the upcoming National Assembly (NA) sitting (9th session), scheduled to start from Monday, but it dropped the idea due to difference of opinion.
When contacted, PPP senior lawmaker/Opposition Leader in NA Syed Khursheed Shah admitted there was no unanimous opinion among the party’s lawmakers from Senate and National Assembly. The senior party members with the consultation of former President Asif Ali Zardari will try to resolve this matter, Shah informed.
He said that the amendment in related clauses in shape of a bill will not introduce in the upcoming session of lower house. “We will not take any step before developing unanimous opinion in our ranks,” the opposition leader added.
To a question about establishing contacts with allied partner on this matter, Shah said that the step would be taken after developing unanimity in party’s rank. “We don’t want to make any conflict on this issue,” he added.