Usman Danish

A woman has challenged a section of Pakistan Citizenship Act 1951 that does not allow right of citizenship to foreigner male marrying Pakistani women at the Peshawar High Court.

The law grants right of citizenship to a foreign woman marrying a Pakistani male. On the other hand, the same law does not bestow citizenship on a foreigner male marrying a Pakistani woman.

Petitioner Samina Rohi has challenged the section 10 (2) of the Pakistan Citizenship Act 1951 under which a Pakistani woman’s foreign husband cannot be granted citizenship at the Peshawar High Court.

A two member PHC bench comprising Justice Lal Jan Khattak and Justice Musarat Hilali approved the plea and issued notices to the federal government.

Petitioner Samina Rohi, originally from Peshawar had married an Afghan citizen in 1980. Her husband was then living as refugee in Pakistan. The couple has five children.

Samina’s husband is currently working in Kuwait.  Whenever he visits Pakistan to meet his family, he is issued one month visa.

It has also become difficult to get a visa due to pandemic

Section 10(2) of Pakistan Citizenship Act 1951

Saifullah Mohib Kakakhel, counsel for the petitioner told TNN that under section 10 (2) of the Pakistan Citizenship 1951, if a foreign woman marries a Pakistani man, she is granted citizenship. On the other males marrying Pakistani females were not granted citizenship. “This is discrimination and as well as unconstitutional,” Mr Kakakhel said.

“According to the constitution, no law will be in conflict with fundamental rights. There are also judgments of Lahore High Court and Federal Shariat Court in this regard. However, this this section has not been amended yet. The relevant section of the Citizenship Act 1951 is also against international law, ” he said.

Mr Kakakhel said that after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, a large number of Afghan refugees came to Pakistan. He said that a large number of Afghan refugees were still living in different parts of Pakistan many Afghans and Pakistanis have also intermarried.

The lawyer said that foreign females can get citizenship under the law; however, Pakistani women’s foreign spouses were not entitled to Pakistani citizenship.

Mr Kakahel said that thousands of other women were also facing this issue.

He said that they have challenged the section 10 (2) of Pakistan Citizenship Act 1951 and prayed the court to declare null and void.

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