64pc of Afghans against ministers with dual nationality
Thirty-three percent of the respondents in Kabul and different provinces believe second citizenship should not be the sole reason for the rejection of cabinet nominees.
All those interviewed by PAN were over 18 years of age, including 42 % females.
More than 105 days after its inauguration, the unity government finally announced a long-awaited list of 27 ministers-designate, the National Directorate of Security (NDS) and the Afghanistan Bank heads and introduced them to the lower house for a vote of confidence.
So far 17 cabinet picks have explained their future plans to the public representatives, but the Wolesi Jirga refused to hear seven nominees and the Afghanistan Bank head for having second citizenship.
Earlier, the lower house passed a resolution asking members not to give the trust vote to ministers-designate with dual nationality. Meanwhile, some lawmakers started have launched efforts to reverse the resolution.
Article 72 of the Constitution says: “Cabinet picks should be citizens of Afghanistan only, in case he/she has another nationality, the lower house has the power to accept or reject the them.”
During the PAN survey, 258 people expressed opposition to the confidence vote cabinet choices with dual citizenship. They gave the following reasons for their opposition.
Twenty-seven percent argue ministers with dual nationality, after committing corruption, could escape and seek asylum in other countries.
Maryam, 21, a student of journalism faculty, said: “In the past 13 years, people of Afghanistan have seen those with multiple nationalities never remained loyal to Afghanistan. Majority of them proved to be traitors and ran away with millions.”
Abdul Sattar Jalal, an employee of information and culture department in northern Jawzjan province, said ministers with dual nationality could leave the country in hard times. An Afghan minister better knows the ground realities and remains aware of people’s problems.
Lack of loyalty:
Around 24 % said ministers with dual nationality could not work efficiently due to a clash of interest between the counties they belong to. Mohammad Amin, a resident of Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of northern Balkh province, said minister with dual citizenship could never be loyal to the supreme interest of Afghanistan.
Ahmad Farid, a resident of Bagrami district of Kabul, said ministers with dual nationality could easily leave the country in troubled situations by choosing a more comfortable environment in his/her country of second citizenship.
Over 19 percent of interviewees feared ministers with dual nationality could spy for other countries. Fatima Alamdar, a resident of central Bamyan province, said: “We should not allow someone with dual nationality to become minister. He/she could reveal to another country Afghanistan’s secrets.”
Around 12 percent said instead of nominating individuals with dual nationality, the government should make use of local talent. Mohammad Nasim, a resident of Maimana, the capital of Faryab province, said a lot of talented and qualified people were available in the country and they could become ministers.
He said the president and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) should give an opportunity to such individuals to serve the country. Nasim lamented that President Ashraf Ghani, being the second greatest thinker of the world was unable to choose 25 cabinet picks out of a 25 million population.
Renouncing second nationality
Around 12 percent of interviewees said the nominees with dual nationality must give up their second citizenship. Dr. Saleh Mohammad Faiz, a resident of Mazar-i-Sharif, said: “If a nominee renounces his/her second nationality then he/she should become a minister, but those who want to stick to their second passports, we don’t need them.”
Six percent of the interviewees showed aversion to the nomination of ministers-designate because they thought it was against the constitution.
Ariana, a Balkh University student, said based on article 72 of the constitution, now that lawmakers decided not to approve individuals with dual nationality then the decision should be respected.
Support for dual nationality
As many as 132 individuals (33%) voiced support to nominees dual nationality holders for the following reasons:
Some 54 percent of the respondents said those with dual nationality having spent time abroad were better-educated and good technocrats. They could play a highly significant role in nation building.
“Those who didn’t have dual nationality and became ministers had done nothing for their country. They were looking after their own interests,” alleged Karishma, a resident of Kabul. “Those who have come from abroad are not that corrupt.”
Around 19 percent of the interviewees opined those with dual nationality were honest. “The holders of dual citizenship had been forced into leaving the country. I think they are less corrupt,” commented Abdul Rahman Rahmani, another resident of Kabul.
More than 15 percent of the respondents said people with dual nationality had the right to benefit from their Afghani passport. “Dual nationality holders are also Afghans. They have the right to become ministers and hold public offices,” said Anisa Habiba Noori from Ghazni.
Ahmadullah, a resident of Maidan Wardak province, said it was more important to evaluate their qualifications, professionalism and patriotism than to stick to the issue of passports.
“We shouldn’t sacrifice well-educated individuals just because of their dual nationality. In the last 13 years, we saw what those ministers with one nationality did to this country,” he questioned. Based on Article 33 of the constitution, Afghans can elect and be elected.
As many as 11 percent of the interviewees said those with dual nationality had more global experience than those with single nationality. Najia, a resident of Kabul, said Afghanistan could definitely benefit from their expertise.
Two of the interviewees believed candidates with dual nationality could easily attract more aid to Afghanistan. Around three percent declined to comment on the subject.
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