ISLAMABAD: The Economic Survey of Pakistan has fully exposed the myth and the reality of the bloated right of dual nationals to become members of Pakistani parliament and grab top posts in the government and other key decision-making/money-making corporate bodies.
The official GOP document exposes the claim of dual nationals living in the western countries about sending remittances in bulk, an argument advanced to claim the right to contest elections.
The official figures of remittances in the Survey reveal that the lion’s share of dollars comes from the expatriates in the Middle East where no foreigner can acquire citizenship.A country-wise analysis indicates that the rich expatriates, dual nationals included, have a much smaller contribution to the Pakistan economy when compared to their poor counterparts in the Arab countries.
The latest figures put foreign remittances at 10.2 billion dollars from July 2011 to April 2012 against the previous figure of 9.6 billion dollars, an increase registered following the government’s policy of Pakistan Remittances Initiative (PRI) to encourage banking channels for the purpose.
According to the Survey (2011-12), Pakistani labour class working in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and in other Gulf States have 60 per cent share in the remittances. In contrast, the overseas Pakistanis living in the United States (USA) and United Kingdom (UK) contributed only 30 per cent. Expatriates living in the European Union (EU) have a pathetic share of just 2.8 per cent.
In a sharp contrast in terms of individual earnings, expatriates in the western countries earn far more than their counterparts in the Middle East. Another fact, which is often forgotten, is that a majority of expatriates living in the west are those who are not dual nationals, according to an economist.
But when it comes to grabbing important official positions, the ‘ideal’ candidates are ‘imported’ from the US, UK and EU. As soon as their terms expire and the ‘rainy’ season starts they pack up and fly back, their ‘passion to serve the motherland’ dissipating into thin air.
Pakistan has tried several imported leaders, honouring them with the slots like prime minister, cabinet members and other top positions yet not one of them stayed for a single day after they relinquished the privileged position.
In terms of remittances, expatriates in Saudi Arabia are the top contributor. The figures given in the Economic Survey are as follows: Remittances from US: $1922.4mln(17.7%); UK: $1263.7mln(11.6%); Saudi Arabia: $2987.9mln (27.5%); UAE: $2386.3mln(21.9%); Other Gulf countries: $1226.6mln (11.3%); EU: $304.6mln (2.8%); others $785.7 (7.2%)
Thus Pakistanis living in the UK have a much smaller contribution of 1263.7 million dollars (11.6%) when compared to those living either in Saudi Arabia or UAE or the collective contribution of the labour class working in Kuwait and Bahrain etc.
But most of our imported leaders come from UK and they include, among others, an adviser on interior and a senior member of Pakistan’s High Commissioner in UK. Recently, Supreme Court has suspended two MQM lawmakers for being UK citizens.
The overseas Pakistanis in the United States contributed 1922.4 million dollars (17.7%) in 2011-12 under the head of remittances. Hussain Haqqqani’s wife, Farah Naz Ispahani, a PPP MNA suspended for being US-Pak national, is the latest example. Earlier, Omer Ghumman was a minister in the Shaukat Aziz cabinet. After he was shown the door, Omer immediately returned to US. Former Shaukat Aziz has not returned to Pakistan since he left.
Moin Qureshi, a former caretaker PM, had acquired the Pakistani identity card after assuming the top office and never came back after completing his stint.
A PML-N MNA Jamil Awan had his membership suspended for being a Dutch national. Auditor General of Pakistan, Boland Akhtar Rana, is a declared Canadian-Pakistani.
As for Pakistanis in Middle East only four names come to mind who served at important positions and have businesses abroad. They are: former federal minister for population in Shaukat Aziz cabinet, Ch. Shahbaz Ahmad, former MNA Ch. Nazir Jutt, former chairman Ehtesab Bureau Saif-ur-Rehman and former MNA Ch. Ejaz.
But certainly they hold Pakistani passports only and cannot get the nationality of these Arab states.
Updated at: 26 May 2013
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Updated at: 26 May 2013
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