Friday, June 1, 2012

Seeing Red (Updated)

The entire country seems to be seized with the issue of whether dual nationality holders should be allowed to hold public office in Pakistan. The Supreme Court is currently hearing a case against four Peoples Party parliamentarians including the President's media adviser Farahnaz Ispahani, whose National Assembly membership has been temporarily suspended by the court on prima facie evidence that she is also an American citizen. The Punjab Assembly has tried to weasel its way out of the same criteria being applied to its members by saying it has no record of which of its members are dual nationality holders. I'm not here to discuss the merits and contradictions of this issue, so if you can please leave that outrage for another time...

What I'm really here to share, however, is an explosive little story that a little tweety bird with impeccable credentials has divulged to us (what, you think only Najam Sethi has mysterious chirryas?).

If you recall, a certain Interior Minister, is among those accused of holding dual British nationality. That he had taken British citizenship while in self-exile from the mid-90s till he returned in 2007 is not even denied by him. He recently made a statement in the Supreme Court (through his lawyer) that he had renounced his UK citizenship in April 2008, upon assuming office in Pakistan and had presented some documents attesting to his claim upon his recent return from a working visit to the UK. (Incidentally, the Supreme Court rejected the documents as insufficient proof of his renunciation.)

 Not quite green (or blue)


Guess what our tweety bird has told us? The colour of the passport the Interior Minister used to travel to the UK - just a few days ago - was distinctly not green or blue (the Pakistani official passport). Those who laid eyes on it say they saw a very British red. Unfortunately, we are not at liberty to reveal our source but what we will confirm clearly is that our tweety bird - which is more than 100 percent sure of its facts - is definitely not of the 'intelligence' variety.

It's one thing to be dheet and a liar. But this just sounds to us like the ultimate in pragmatic stupidity as well.


: : : UPDATE : : :

After this post was put up, a number of people wrote in on Twitter and in the comments to say that the Pakistani diplomatic passport is also red (or maroon) and that while senators and other government officials are issued a blue offical passport, all cabinet members (as the Interior Minister is) are issued a diplomatic passport. The implication was that perhaps our tweety bird had mistaken the colour of the diplomatic passport for the British passport. Senator Rehman Malik himself aslo tweeted that it had been "mischievously reported" that he had used a British passport whereas he had used only his "red diplomatic passport."

The doubt is understandable since in my write-up I had only referred to the colour of the passport, even though our source had not based the information on simply that. Nevertheless we have re-checked with our source to make doubly sure and the tweety bird confirms that it was in fact a British passport, not a Pakistani diplomatic passport. We thus stand by our story.


10 comments:

saud said...

the pakistani diplomatic passport is also red btw...

Anonymous said...

Ministers are entitled diplomatic passport

Anonymous said...

Manticore says that the Pakistan diplomatic passport is maroon rather than red and perhaps somebody should enquire of the British High Commission in Islamabad whether they have received either a request for the revocation of a British citizenship from Mr Malik, or the fee for revocation. Presumably if his application had been received and granted then his British passport would have been cancelled and rendered invalid as a travel document. This being a sensitive matter I don't suppose they are going to comment either way - but you never know, and there is no harm in asking is there?

Anonymous said...

How come the same SCJ who was serving under Musharraf and Shaukat Aziz did not question the dual nationality issue of Aziz? Perhaps his kursi was not under threat at that time.

Anonymous said...

Shaukat Aziz did not have dual nationality. He travelled using Pakistani passport.

Anonymous said...

Its not a sou mouto action by SC hence some one actually filed a writ. Somebody should have filed the same when Shaukat Aziz was PM.

Khalq e Khuda said...

Once again the social media joins the righteous Supreme Court in the witch hunt of the ruling party.

Just for your information Ishrat ul Ibad the governor of Sindh also has British nationality along with dozens of PMLN members who are British expatriates but clearly they do not need to be named and shamed just like the immunity of a governor with thirteen murder cases on him is never questioned by the court.

Karamat said...

With reference to the above comment: Once again we have couch potato activists with grandiose delusions of representing the 'voice of the people' not reading things they are commenting on and presuming that any criticism of their ruling party (no matter how cynical they may be) equates to a 'campaign' against democracy.

Clearly the above post is only pointing out one scandalous instance of someone lying through his teeth and is making no comment on the larger issue of dual nationality holders. Calling on the Supreme Court to be evenhanded in its treatment of politicians or even arguing against dual nationality holders being targeted (personally I don't think dual nationality holders should have the right to hold public office - and don't think Moeen Qureshi et al should have been allowed either) is perfectly fine. But how does that excuse Rehman Malik or anyone else from cynically lying?

Jiyala said...

@Anonymous Khalq e Khuda

someone filed a petition against rehman malik and these other Parliamentarians having dual nationality. Thats why SC took notice of it.

Why don't you file an application against Ishratul Ibad & those other dozens PMLN members instead of complaining?

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing.