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Should Foreign Men Marrying Pakistani Women Get Pakistani Citizenship?

Posted on January 3, 2008
Filed Under >Owais Mughal, Law & Justice, Society
Total Views: 61681


Owais Mughal

Yes, if they want to, they should.

At present, they don’t. Pakistan Citizenship Act currently allows a foreigner girl marrying a Pakistani man to get Pakistani citizenship but not vice versa.

Recently, this question of gender equality got a boost from Federal Shariat Court in Pakistan as they declared the Pakistani Citizenship Act, 1951, to be discriminatory against women. On December 19, 2007, the Federal Shariat Court has asked the president of Pakistan to amend the Pakistan Citizenship Act within six months so that a woman’s foreign husband could get Pakistani citizenship, just like a foreign women married to Pakistani men.

In a 26-page judgment announced by the court, it says:

“We are of the view that Section 10 of the Citizenship
Act is discriminatory, negates gender equality and is in violation of Articles 2-A (Objective Resolution) and 25 (equality of citizens) of the Constitution, also against international commitments of Pakistan and, most importantly, is repugnant to the Holy Quran and Sunnah,”

According to Dawn news report of December 20, 2007:

The three-member bench comprising FSC Chief Justice Haziqul Khairi, Justice Dr Fida Muhammad Khan and Justice Salahuddin Mirza had taken suo motu notice on a news report in which a woman was denied the right to get Pakistani citizenship for her foreign husband, though the law entitled a man to obtain citizenship for his alien wife.

This same issue was also brought as a legislative bill before the recently out-gone National Assembly on March 18, 2004 but it got killed by the Government after a delibration of two years. The pretext of Government was that a foreign woman marrying a Pakistani man is not same as a foreign man married to a Pakistani woman. Granting citizenship to foreigner men by marrying a Pakistani girl would not only legalize the stay of a large number of illegal immigrants, but would also increase their influx.

The government also stated that the amendment to the current Pakistan Citizenship Act would add to unemployment and a foreign husband, after obtaining the citizenship, could divorce the woman and move around freely in the country.

Besides, in the Government view, it would also be a blanket approval for all foreign nationals to marry Pakistani women and obtain nationality, and majority of them could even misuse this provision, especially Afghan refugees and illegal Bengali and other South Asian immigrants.

I for one, do not agree with above points at all. I believe a family is the unit of society. Government laws should help keeping families together as well as without any gender bias. Laws should be same for both men and women. Therefore in my view the judgment of Federal Shariat Court is the correct one and if acted on, it will go long way in giving equal rights to women and men.


1. Policy for Pakistani Citizenship
2. Paranoia and Patriotism by Irfan Hussain, Dawn, June 17, 2006.
3. MPs for Review of Citizenship Laws: Discrimination Against Women, Dawn, August 25, 2006.
4. Human Righs Commission of Pakistan

71 comments posted

Comment Pages: [9] 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 » Show All

  1. sara says:
    October 6th, 2013 4:16 pm

    I am pakistani national women and my husband is afghan its been 5 years we are marrid and we have 2 kids. my husband has good job in afghanistan but for kids we all want to move out to pakistan. i went to ministr yof interior bu they said we are not giving natioality to foriegn spouse it is very bad all developed nations are giving but our country far behind , is there can be any other optionlike POC Govt should think about it

  2. shahzad says:
    January 20th, 2013 3:08 pm

    i am married with borma girl she is born in saudia & she have pakistani passport then passpor Expired then pakistan Consulate jeddah saudia not renew how then applay for passport -

  3. Mohammad Naser says:
    October 7th, 2012 1:14 pm

    my brother Muhammad Yasir…..i want to talk to you and discuss about this matter through email. We almost have the same case. I reverted to Islam during Ramadan of 2009 and my pakistani friend (who i consider as my 2nd family) is arranging me to one of his relatives for marriage. by the way, im a Filipino as well. i am running out of time because im getting older and i want to get married by next year…INSHALLAH. i know we can help each other about this issue. you may email me at

  4. muhammad yasir says:
    June 6th, 2012 3:08 am

    seriously,.. can somebody spare some advice on how to get married to a Pakistani woman? I am a Filipino Engineer recently working in K.S.A. Had embraced Islam mid of 2009…
    I have one Pakistani colleague who introduce one of his niece / cousin and we are now on the planning stage on how to arrange this marriage…I sent my picture to the family of the girl and vice-versa.. my problem is that, I really don’t know what procedure/s I’ll take to turn-up this sensitive matter, so hope someone can help and share…regards!

  5. Nathalie says:
    May 4th, 2012 1:19 am

    I am from Canada i married with a Pakistani man..i have been in pakistan 3 times.. how i can apply for pakistani nationality ..

  6. Jonaira says:
    April 3rd, 2012 4:29 pm

    I would like to know if I can get a nationality. I’ am a Filipino from Philippines, currently residing in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I’m married with a Pakistan Nationality for 10 years and blessed with four children. I’ve been visiting my family in-laws in Pakistan since I got married. I’ want to get a dual Nationality, Is it possible? I went to Pakistan embassy but accordingly they are giving dual Nationality for specific countries. It is very disappointing knowing that I cannot get but I ‘am still hoping to get Pakistan Nationality.

  7. Ahmed Ali says:
    January 11th, 2012 2:39 pm

    Why not? It happens all over the world.

Comment Pages: [9] 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 » Show All

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