Should Foreign Men Marrying Pakistani Women Get Pakistani Citizenship?

Posted on January 3, 2008
Filed Under >Owais Mughal, Law & Justice, Society
Total Views: 77677

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

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66 responses to “Should Foreign Men Marrying Pakistani Women Get Pakistani Citizenship?”

  1. Mohammed Tanveer Nawab Khan says:

    I am Tanveer Nawab Khan.i dont know more english.i’m telling my story in hindi nd urdu ,you con read Sir ye realy love story hai,mai jeddah saudi arabia me lived hoon.hamare or hamari begum ki mulakat Indian school me hui thi.thbhi hm dono mile the .wahi se hm dono pyar ki soruwat hui hai,Girl ek Balochi hai jo saudi me since 35 years rha rhe hai,jb hm mile the tb mai ek hindu tha pr hone ke bad maine apne pyar or ” e Allah”ji pane ke liye maine apna religin change kr liya hai,ab mere ghar walo ne muhje chod diya hamesha ke liye ,maine to “Allah “ji pa liya hai pr mera schcha pyar hi mere jindgi hai mera iman hai,mai or mere wife ji (pakistani girl) hr lamha her pal,her namaj me roo roo kr apne milne or nikah ki dua mag rhe hai or nhi to marne ki qnk mere wife ji begum ji mere life hai agr mere wife ji nhi to mai bhi nhi qnk ab mera es duniya koi nhi hai siway mere wife ji ka …………………..
    muhje pakistani banna hai apni wife ji sath dena hai puri jindgi bhar ke liye ,,,mere help kreye nhi hm ek sath mr jayenge apne pyar ke liye hm dono apse only mag rhe hai ki muhje pakistani bana do bs please es gareeb,majlom,do schche pyar krne wale ko mila do apko “Allah”ji ka wasta apko apne aap jisse bhi pyar krte hai uska wasta plz hmara help kre

    Tanveer & Meema kahn

  2. Reema says:

    So did the ruling change?
    can a foreign husband get pakistani nationality?
    because my husband is egyptian and we want a nationality

  3. i am pakistani citizen but i want to marry an afghan girl. will it be possible for her to get pakistani citizenship after marrying me………..
    Reply plz
    I m in great tense due this problem……….. I really love her. i love pakistan the most…..

  4. ibrar says:

    iam sayed ibrar. i live in pakistan since year 1986. i get education here. i grow up here. and in year 2009 i have completed my Fsc here in lahore. i have married a pakistani girl 4 months earlier. and i want to become a pakistani and live there. Is it possible? can i get NiC in pakistan.
    I love pakistan very much.
    Iam a foreign personality.
    Is it possible please reply me. i belong to afghanistan.

  5. ibrar says:

    iam sayed ibrar. i have married a pakistani girl 4 months earlier. and i want to become a pakistani and live there. Is it possible? can i get NiC in pakistan.
    I love pakistan very much.
    Iam a foreign personality.
    Is it possible please reply me.

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