Pakistan’s problem—Dual citizenship

Overly simplistic to blame all problems on dual citizenship. Some other countries that do not formally allow dual citizenship have similar issues although may be more acute in Pakistan:

So much has been written about why Pakistan is fast becoming a basket case but none of what I have read on Pakistan from the world’s greatest analysts have come to the root problem—It is because Pakistan allows dual citizenships. None of the elites have a stake in Pakistan—not the generals; not the politicians nor the big business or feudal families.

Everyone one who can get a Western passport, along with their Pakistani ones has their kids studying and then working abroad and when these elitists retire, they have sent enough money abroad to live a life of luxury but their dollars came from deals they did living in Pakistan.

Tarek Fatah often talks about the mini-Pakistan of ISI and armed officers in Canada where they have been able to buy the best of properties and even have their own fancy club where they can act just like they did the Pakistan. No wonder even the poor try to escape as refugees along with Syrians, Afghans and other failed state migrants to Europe.

India does not allow dual citizenship and as a developing country I think it was the right decision to take. Thus, even our blatantly rich and corrupt politicians who manage to get millions of dollars abroad, round trip it back to India to invest.

While in Pakistan the military who own a whole industrial empire would rather invest their ill- gotten gains in Papa Johns Pizza and malls and real estate in the US. It almost seems that they have no faith in their country or no real stake. Such a mindset robs the country of not only the foreign aid that comes to it but also is not concerned about the ordinary citizens of the country. It almost feels like the elite use the country as a steeping stone to settle abroad.

Indian generals never go abroad to retire. Most Pakistani generals have one foot in Pakistan and another via their dollar wealth, abroad with their children as well as their extended families.

I feel if you do not have a solid stake in your country than all you are working for is robbing it as Pakistani elite have been doing for the last 70 years. I am convinced this is because of the dual nationality the country allows.

How can one possibly owe allegiance to two countries and when it comes to choosing would you live in a failing state where the there are massive power shortages; very high food inflation; water problem; irregular cooking gas; a huge shortage of medicines, vaccines and medical care; and growing poverty, or would you ditch and run to a Western country, in which you have invested and which has the rule of law and much better standard of living?

If Pakistan was to ban dual citizenship as it should than the well-educated army brats and generals and politicians would have to make their country livable and work harder at doing that. Even when they scam the system– as corruption and greed go together– at least they will have to invest it in businesses and factories in Pakistan. It will compel them to bring about policies that make Pakistan a viable place for industry and will force them to have more of a stake in making their nation better. This can only happen if Pakistan bans dual citizenship and I am convinced that if the nation does this it can recover from the malaise it is in.

Source: Pakistan’s problem—Dual citizenship

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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