Pakistan’s Foreign Minister has been disqualified for possessing an Iqama, which is basically a work visa entitling the holder to open and operate bank account and own moveable and immoveable property. It is indeed a significant judgment where courts have interpreted constitution, and also help curtail money laundering and flight of capital. 

Those holding elected or paid public offices, both civil and uniformed, must understand that these are not part time jobs and require 24/7 total commitment. Foreign nationality holders apart from enjoying privileges accruing from work visa also pledge an oath of loyalty to that country revoking all previous loyalties they may have held previously. 

It is imperative that Supreme Court and judiciary should never be accused of selective applicability of laws and constitution. The SC must implement this decision on all public office holders, be they paid or elected, including those serving in foreign services and our sensitive security agencies, irrespective of the post they hold. Recently numerous parliamentarians including Deputy PM of Australia had to resign for either possessing foreign nationality or being eligible to be a foreign national because of accident of their birth, or that of their biological parents, in any foreign country, which qualifies them to citizenship of that country. Numerous members of PPP, PTI, PML(N) etc need to be scrutinized. It is time every elected or paid public office holder be forced to declare nationality of their spouse or dependent children. Foreign nationals are neither eligible nor qualified to take oath of secrecy and should not have access to sensitive information. It is not possible to secure sensitive information from foreign nationality holding spouses and dependent children residing in same house with public office holder. 

MALIK TARIQ ALI, 

Lahore, April 26.