Ongoing proceedings before Pakistan’s Supreme Court threaten to reinforce our growing sense of victimhood. While there is no specific law barring dual nationals from serving in government departments, the proceedings suggest public representatives can’t have foreign wives and those who do may be undermining Pakistan and, above all, its ideology. The same goes for dual nationality. The picture that emerges in the mind of the patriotic Pakistan is this: the wife is here to spy through seduction of husband and will undermine the security of Pakistan by passing crucial information to the two enemy states: India and the United States.
Many states have laws against dual nationality but Pakistan’s case becomes complicated when seen together with other “habits” like seeing “foreign hand” in all sorts of incidents of violence involving Pakistanis gone crazy with religious enthusiasm and crime. The current “foreign wife” scene is not going to make things easy.
A Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) report to the Supreme Court says 922 wives of government servants are either dual nationals or foreigners, which must alert the all-seeing mind of Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, who has gone suo motu over the question of “dual nationality.” Around 824 wives do have dual nationality while their civil servant husbands have declared them under law. Some 210 have however kept mum and can be brought to account. Of course Punjab scores ahead of other provinces, boasting 191 foreign wives, while 61 officials have decided not to declare.
Is Pakistan threatened? The honorable chief justice must be wisely thinking of what may occur in the future if it has not so far. But the mere fact that his efforts have brought to light such a large number of the state’s “insiders” keeping “foreign” nationals in their homes excites the national imagination. The clueless inspector generals in our provinces have so far “explained” acts of terrorism through “foreign hand”; now they have a new peg to hang on incidents that they can’t explain: “foreign wives.”