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Expatriate Pakistanis group for their rights

Move follows dismissal of Qadri’s petition by Supreme Court over his dual nationality

Gulf News

Karachi: Overseas Pakistanis, especially those having dual nationality, have started formation of a group after a recent dismissal of Dr Tahirul Qadri’s petition by the Supreme Court of Pakistan for being a dual national besides some other legal factors.

Qadri, a Pakistani cleric who has Canadian nationality as well, was recently criticised widely for filing a petition in the Supreme Court for dissolution and reconstitution of Pakistan Election Commission, which, he thought, was flawed.

The Supreme Court did not maintain his petition on legal ground but during the proceedings, the court raised doubts about Qadri’s sincerity of the cause as he came only a few months ago to Pakistan and launched an aggressive political movement, stirring a heated debate in the media as well over his “ulterior motives”.

“The court remarks are the insult of over a million expatriate Pakistanis who love their country more than the residents,” Qadri rhetorically said in his media statements after the dismissal of his petition last week.

The social media and group mails have now started reacting to the court remarks.

“The people performing the most important role in the highest offices of Pakistan are calling dual nationals as ‘foreigners’,” Syed Atiqul Hasan, who is editor-in-chief of Tribune International in Sydney, wrote in a mail to a media group.

“Therefore we are launching an international forum of dual national Pakistanis (IFDNP) in order to raise our voices at global forum and media,” Hasan said,

“I do agree with you and we should discuss this issue,” replied Munir Ahmed, who is also an editor of Rabitah International, in Australia.

However, Ahmed disagreed with the interpretation of what the Supreme Court meant.

“But I am sure we all know the meaning… he [CJ[ just tried to show the real face/objective of Dr Qadri,” he remarked.

One Ashraf Chohan wrote in the string of the mail that “we are organising a protest in London”.

Expatriate Pakistanis, including dual nationals, play key role in sending remittances which enables Pakistan to pay off its foreign trade partners and debt. On average the overseas Pakistanis remit more than $15 billion (Dh55 billion) to their homes every year.

Pakistan faces sharp deficits in its foreign trade as its imports stand far much higher than its exports and the foreign exchange remittances help fill much of the gap.