|No constitutional bar on dual nationality|
28 May 2012
ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani Sunday said there was no restriction on dual citizenship in the country’s constitution.Speaking in a private television programme, he said he was in favour of expatriates getting right to vote and becoming members of the parliament. There should be a debate on the issue of dual citizenship and the parliament should decide the issue and bring in new legislation as the world has changed.Mentioning that over 300 councillors, mayors and members of House of Commons and House of Lords in Britain were Pakistanis, he said the expatriates should not be deprived of the right to vote and become members of the parliament.Nowhere in the constitution was it written that Pakistanis cannot hold dual citizenship and cannot become legislators and bureaucrats, he said. He added that law and constitution were not made for individuals and one had to look at the situation in the country and the world. “What will happen if Britain abolished the citizenship of Lord Nazir Ahmed?” he asked.To a question, he said according to the law, Dr Shakeel Afridi should be given the right to defend himself in the higher courts. He said Dr Shakeel was wrong in his actions but he should get justice through civil courts. To another question about Pakistan-US relations, he said talks were continuing between the two states on the reopening of Nato supply lines. Pakistan had stopped Nato from using its territory to send supplies to Afghanistan following the Salala attack in which 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed.To a question about expensive shopping by him, he responded that those reports were the biggest joke of the year. Media reports had said Gilani and his family spent millions of pounds during shopping in London. He reportedly purchased three coats worth Rs8 million (54,000 pounds) and his family also spent millions of pounds on jewellery, shoes and watches.Gilani said the federal government had added more than 3,500 megawatts to the national grid and was working on long, medium and short-term projects to resolve the energy crisis. The government initiated the Diamer Bhasha Dam project, Mangla Dam upraising project, CASA 1000, electricity imports from Iran and India and the Thar Coal project to increase energy resources, he added. He said the Punjab government did not add even one megawatt to the system while nobody was stopping them from starting power generation projects.
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