Dual nationality holders cannot become members of parliament: FM Qureshi

Dual nationality holders cannot become members of parliament: FM Qureshi

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that the Constitution was clear that dual nationality holders cannot become members of the parliament. “They can neither become members of the Senate nor the National Assembly,” he said. “It is clear in the Constitution. However, they are not prohibited from assuming any other office.”
In an interview, the foreign minister said that every government needs technical expertise and the inclusion of such non-elected members with their elected counterparts strikes “a healthy balance”. “One must accept that this practice [declaring assets and dual nationality details of cabinet members] is an unprecedented one,” Qureshi said.
Qureshi said that previous governments did not ensure that cabinet members’ assets were made public. He credited Prime Minister Imran Khan with the move to have cabinet members’ declare their assets, saying that it would help in transparency and holding them accountable.
Responding to a question about the conflict of interest of such members, Qureshi said that PTI’s policy was clear on the matter. “It is binding on everyone not to do anything that gives the perception that an individual used his government office for personal gains or financial growth,” he clarified.
In response to a question as to whether the law should be the same for elected and non-elected members on holding dual nationalities, the foreign minister said that both were needed in government “to strike a healthy balance”.
“Elected members have [their own] value. They are representatives of the people but every elected government needs expertise,” he said. “The Constitution gives space to the prime minister to nominate four advisors who have technocratic expertise.”
FM Qureshi said that people in the past had used the same space allowed in the Constitution and PM Imran had done the same. “You have to have a balance,” he said, adding that the prime minister had set an unprecedented example by asking his Cabinet members to declare their assets and whether they held dual nationalities or not.
In response to a question on whether the prime minister will ask Cabinet members to let go of their other nationality, FM Qureshi said that a Cabinet meeting will be held on Tuesday and the prime minister can address the dual nationalities’ issue more.
Minister for Information Shibli Faraz had announced on Saturday that asset details and other nationalities of all the special assistants and advisers to Prime Minister Imran Khan are now available for public viewing.
He said that the details have been shared on the Cabinet Division website as instructed by the prime minister.

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