ISLAMABAD -  The Supreme Court on Thursday announced a 10-day amnesty for bureaucrats to voluntarily reveal their dual nationality before taking a ‘legal action’ against over the double citizenship.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar heared the suo moto case on the dual nationality of government employees in grade-17 and above.

The chief justice observed that some of the officers have not yet provided the information regarding their dual citizenship but “now they are given the last chance to do the needful, otherwise, an appropriate legal action would be taken against them for disregarding the court order”. The judge said that if the officers complied with the order in 10 days, no action would be taken against them.

The court issued notices to the secretary Foreign Office, the NADRA chairman, Director General Immigration and Passport and provincial secretaries of Services and General Administration after Secretary Establishment Division Maroof Afzal suggested that these persons can also provide information about the dual nationality of the officers of grade-17 and above.

Afzal said that of the 33,000 officers,  204 possess dual nationalities. He said that of the 868 officers DMG Group, 853 have provided information about their nationality. Similarly, of the 828 officers in the Police Department, two officers, Tanvir Ahmed Tahir and Fida Hussain Shah, have not yet submitted their reports as they were in the custody of the National Accountability Bureau.

He said that of the 469 officers in Office Management Group, 455 have submitted a report about their nationality and 14 have not responded. Similarly, of the 483 officer in Secretariat Office Management Group, only one person has not responded to their queries about the dual citizenship.

The chief justice inquired what mechanism could be adopted if someone did not reveal his or dual nationality. “Those people who had not yet given their declaration regarding the dual citizenship and conceal the facts, it would be an injustice if we could not do anything in this regard,” he said.

The chief justice observed that it was not in the interest of Pakistan that the officers who were posted on highly sensitive posts hold dual citizenship.

Additional Advocate General Sindh Shehryar said that the provincial government did not have the information whether or not the absconding SSP Rao Anwar was a dual national. He also failed to provide information how many times Anwar went abroad. The chief justice admonishing him directed to submit a report on Anwar’s foreign trips at the next hearing.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan, a member of the bench, observed that a person who visits abroad once a year means they must be having a citizenship of a country or maybe their application for the citizenship was in process. The case is adjourned until Monday.