ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court Monday issued notices to 147 government servants in Grade-17 and above for concealing their dual nationality.

The notices were issued by a three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar that heard the suo motu case regarding the dual nationality of officers working in federal and provincial governments, after Federal Investigation Agency Director General Bashir Memon submitted a report on the nationality of bureaucrats.

The apex court, in its previous order, had ruled that legal action would be taken against the officers who were concealing their dual nationality despite the court orders to disclose their status.

The top court also issued notices to the 291 government servants whose spouses hold dual nationality. The notices should be served through respective departments and daily newspapers, the apex court said.

The top court further granted two weeks to the FIA DG to submit details of dual national officers.

The top court also issued a notice to the attorney general for Pakistan to assist the court pertaining to the cases of the dual national officers.

During the hearing, FIA DG Memon revealed 147 officers did not disclose their dual nationality and seven officers declared they did not possess dual nationality, but they were foreign nationals.

According to the report submitted by FIA DG, 23 officers of these 147 officers who concealed their nationality were serving in the Aviation Division, a subsidiary of the Ministry of Defence. Most of these 23 officers had nationality of the United Kingdom and Canada, he said.

Likewise, three dual national officers were working in the Maritime Affairs and one each in the Defence Production and the Foreign Affairs Division while the rest of the officers were working in different departments of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the FIA DG said.

During the hearing, Memon informed the bench that the FIA, in collaboration with the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) and Integrated Border Management System, had gathered the data of 144,884 government officers.

He added 616 officers voluntarily declared they were dual nationals while spouses of 691 officers were holding dual nationality. He further said six officers had declared they were foreign nationals and not dual nationals.

On March 1, the apex court observed it was apparent from the record that some of the officers had concealed their dual nationality.

The court had given them the last opportunity to furnish such information and observed: “If ultimately they are found to have disguised their dual nationality despite this final opportunity, an appropriate legal action shall be taken against them, including the action for disregarding and disobeying this court’s orders”.

“It is emphasised that those who have so far concealed their dual nationality for some reason make such declaration within 10 days, no adverse action shall be taken against them,” the court had ruled.

During the hearing, the chief justice asked whether a foreign national could be appointed as a government official. Establishment Division Secretary Maroof Afzal responded a foreign national could be appointed as a government servant subject to the grant of permission by the government.

The Establishment Division secretary is acting as the coordinator of the court for procuring the information from all ministries, divisions, departments and autonomous bodies.

The chief justice also said the bench had not mentioned in its previous order to gather the data of those officers whose spouses were dual nationals. The chief justice asked if there is any prohibition for this as well.

The Establishment Division secretary replied the officer was supposed to seek permission for a foreign spouse. The case was adjourned until April 5.

Earlier, the same bench had expressed dissatisfaction over the report of the Establishment Division secretary that named only 204 officials as dual nationals.

The top court then constituted a committee comprising representatives of the Establishment Division, the Nadra and the FIA and sought details of government servants serving in Grade-17 to Grade-22.

 

 

147 dual national babus dug out

 

SYED SABEEHUL HUSSNAIN