ISLAMABAD - Since Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has failed to sort out disparity over lifting ban on dual nationals to become member of the parliament in its party ranks, the third largest opposition party, MQM, is set to seek support of all major political factions to remove constitutional bar on dual nationality holders.
The PPP remained engaged in talks within the party to resolve the difference of opinion over the issue for a couple of weeks but now the idea to resolve the pending issue has almost been dropped due to certain reasons, background interviews and discussions with opposition lawmakers left this impression.
PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari has also not taken serious notice on this matter, sources said, as reportedly he was to intervene and resolve the issue in the current month.
"The difference of opinion in party ranks could not be resolved yet," said Syed Khursheed Shah, senior lawmaker of PPP and leader of opposition in National Assembly, while talking to The Nation.
Having almost the same feelings, PPP Senator Raza Rabbani said the matter was still not deliberated in length in party ranks. However, he was optimistic to resolve the issue in the party.
Rabbani is among those party's senators who are not in favour of lifting ban on dual nationals to become member of the parliament despite knowing that top brass of PPP thinks otherwise. He in the last PPP government had strongly opposed any amendment in this regard and resultantly the previous government failed to move the bill in the parliament.
It is relevant to mention here that a bill in the Senate for putting bar on all public office holders, bureaucrats and even judges to keep dual nationality had proposed that dual nationality holder cannot hold any office of state or join government service. The PPP lawmakers from lower and upper houses of the parliament despite series of parleys to settle the issue amicably could not reach on consensus to introduce amendment in the articles 62 & 63 of the constitution (related to dual nationality) in the National Assembly.
The article 63 of the constitution about 'disqualification for membership of parliament' says, "A person shall be disqualified 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."
Interestingly, the MQM also introduced same kind of amendment and submitted a bill in the National Assembly Secretariat around two weeks ago. "We are set to convince other political factions for granting this right to parliamentarian," said MQM spokesman talking to this scribe.
It is relevant here that some MQM members including Haider Abbas Rizvi, Raza Haroon and Dr Nadeem Ehsan are dual nationals.