Should Foreign Men Marrying Pakistani Women Get Pakistani Citizenship?

Posted on January 3, 2008
Filed Under >Owais Mughal, Law & Justice, Society
Total Views: 89345

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

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

  1. I am a afghan now I live in afghanistan wanto get pakistani nationality i want get contact with nadra office that they help me to get pakistani nationality to I leave Afghanistan and come to Pkistan for living please help me.

  2. Adam kalyal says:

    I do not agree with non-Pakistani males getting citizenship through marrying Pakistani women, not because of illegal immigration or any of them lame excuses but for the simple fact that their children will not be Pakistani. You can plant a Orange seed in Pakistan, UK, France or USA and it will always produce an orange tree no matter where it is planted, it’s the same in humans. As Pakistani males we should increase the number of women we have to give birth to our seed and reduce the amount of competition, this will ensure the survival of our next generation and generations to come. If a Pakistani women wants to give birth to non-Pakistani children she should expect us to recognise her children or husband, she should be grateful her citizenship isn’t revoked never mind giving citizenship to her foreign mate and children.

  3. DR.ARUN says:

    Sir,i am nepalese citizen and study here …i heard person who live more then 10 years getting temporary citizen that will provide free entry and visa.can any body guide me what is that….i can not leave my nepali citizen ship.

  4. mohammed altaf says:

    sir i m an indian national can i get married to pakistani woman and take her back in india.

    pls reply soon


  5. Nadeem Farooq says:

    I am Fiji Citizen by Naturalization & have been renounced my Pakistani Nationality in the year 2006.
    My wife is Pakistani National & holding Pakistani passport.
    Now Fiji Government allows Pakistani national to keep dual citizenship of Pakistan & Fiji.
    Now i would like to re-apply for my Pakistani Citizenship.
    Can some one reply my e-mail ^ send detail reply to my e-mail address as mentioned above.
    Thanking you in advance.
    Take care
    Reagrds ^ Cheers

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