NA body disposes of bill barring dual nationality holders

ISLAMABAD: National Assembly’s (NA) Standing Committee on Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, on Tuesday, disposed of a bill barring dual-nationality holders from becoming members of parliament just a day after declaration was made by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to disqualify a person, holding dual-nationality, from contesting polls.Members of the committee expressed surprise over the ECP’s announcement on dual-nationality holders, saying, as the law already existed on the subject, there was no need for fresh declaration or legislation.The committee that met with MNA Begum Nasim Akhtar Chaudhry in the chair concurred that provisions made in Representation of People Act 1976 and Constitution of Pakistan were sufficient to bar such persons from holding public offices and expressed the view that it only required effective implementation.

The committee was deliberating on a private member bill moved by MNA Tasnim Siddiqui, who sought bar on persons holding dual-nationality from contesting polls for parliament.The committee disposed of the bill contending there was no need for fresh legislation when the law already existed on the subject.Federal Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Minister Maula Bux Chandio said that dual-nationality holders were not eligible to contest elections and the already existing legislation was quite sufficient to bar such persons from holding public offices. Tasnim Siddiqui said that despite the presence of law, there were so many people with dual-nationalities sitting in the assemblies.

“This is sheer proof that the law is not being implemented,” the legislator asserted. Earlier, the committee constituted a sub-committee to look into an amendment under Section 182 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) regarding increase in imprisonment and fine for registering fake FIRs.The amendment was moved by MNA Begum Nuzat Sadiq in which the she pleaded that punishment provided in the PPC for giving false information was insufficient. The amendment proposes increase in imprisonment from six months to five years and a fine from Rs 3,000 to Rs 200,000 on registering fake FIRs.The committee was unison in enhancing the punishment for fake FIRs and supported the bill to check registration of fake FIRs. Interestingly, movers of both private member bills were MNAs from the PML-N. However, no member of the committee from PML-N turned up at the meeting. The meeting was attended by MNAs Abdul Ghafoor Chaudhry, SA Iqbal Qadri, Tariq Shabbir, Shakeela Khanum Rashid and Advocate Ijaz Virk. – Dailytimes