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November 2, 2009

Nepal's Dual Citizenship: A Suicidal Decision?

By Krishna Hari Pushkar

Dual Napalese Citizenship will be a big threat to democracy, sovereignty, integration and harmony as well as to society too. Such a policy could push our nation towards serious problem, if the government introduces the policy without analyzing the potential impact. Therefore, the government should have an open referendum before approving the policy.

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The Non Residential Nepalese (NRN) has pressured the government to approve a dual citizenship policy and the government is almost agree on it. Sadly, the people misunderstand that NRN are thepeople who are rich and living in a rich country. Now, it's time to be clear about the NRN. What about the 80-90 hundred thousand Nepalese who are living in India? What about the 4-5 hundred thousand Nepalese who are living in Burma? What about the 3-4 hundred thousand Nepalese living in Bhutan? For instance, let's exclude the NRN people who have been living in a prosperous country and have prosperous professions and think what will happen if these others come to Nepal and ask to be a part of dual citizenship?

I think most of them come to Nepal and will happily try to settle in Nepal permanently, since the problem in Bhutan, Burma and India (see the problems and difficulties faced by Nepalese ethnic peoples in Assam etc.) have become a huge headache for Nepalese ethnic people. I think most of them could easily establish relationship with Nepal and will be able to fulfill all the required criteria to obtain citizenship.

We should be serious and learn first about our national capacity, limitation of resources, infrastructure and other related capacities. Just approving the dual citizenship is an easy job for government, but to manage and maintain policy sustainably is more complex job. I think the citizenship includes the set of duties and responsibilities for a nation and the individual too.

What happen if the all people come and ask the state to fulfill their constitutional, fundamental and human rights? Do you think that our nation is capable now to address the issues? Do you think the dual citizenship policy will prove profitable for Nepal? Won't it be an additional burden to the nation? I think it will be a big threat on democracy, sovereignty, integration, and harmony. Such a policy could push our nation toward serious problems, if the government introduces the policy without analyzing the potential impact.

Was there any research and homework conducted about the potential impact of dual citizenship policy?

I request all stakeholders to seriously examine the issue in a timely fashion; otherwise it will prove a suicidal step for the nation and the existing nationalities of Nepal. I am not sure, but in my personal opinion, the government should have an open referendum before approving the policy of dual citizenship.

Additional justification from Krishna Hari Pushkar:

Additionally, please do understand that there is nothing to do with the NRN law and its definition. The major issues of dual citizenship are for those Nepalese who have been living abroad and have ended the Nepalese citizenship and also for those who are willing to do the same. Friends, pro-dual citizenship companion is based in a cagey logic that provision of dual citizenship will be helpful to attract FDI or private investment in Nepal from the so called limited rich people. However, you might know about the number of rich people who can really able to invest in Nepal. I think we could just count in finger about the number for such limited people, but you will lifelong unable to count the growing number of those people who seek for dual citizenship. You must know about the ratio of the people who want to invest in Nepal and the people who just want to have dual for their individual/personal benefit. May be millions of NRNs who are living abroad (India, Burma, Bhutan etc) will settle permanently in Nepal. Therefore, why should Nepal Government and people agree to provide dual citizenship? Could you provide any empirical justification? Do you know the number of people who want really investment and to be a part of socioeconomic development? I think Nepalese people are now aware and willing to know about the fact rather than the value.

In response to your other argument regarding the ethnicity and nationality, I would like to clear that I did not talk about those people who are only Nepalese speaking. But, I talked about those people who are inherent Nepalese and they migrated or left Nepal few decades ago due to employment or economical reasons. I am sure that they could obtain their Nepalese citizenship accordance with laws and could present enough proofs e.g. parental properties, blood relations, old voter list, lands and malpot related receipts etc. Most of the previously described non residential Nepalese have more than enough proofs to prove that they are well eligible to get “Bansaj Nagrikata”. Therefore, it should be clear that I talked about those non-residential Nepalese who are equally eligible as the defined nonresidential Nepalese who are living in so called developed and prosperous country.



Submitters Bio:

Mr. Pushkar was a DAAD fellow and studied research master in peace and conflict studies in Germany. Also, he holds an internationally honored first class master degree in public administration. He has participated in dozens of national and international trainings, seminars,and workshops programs related to governance, migration, ethnicity, social inclusion, human rights, diplomacy, peace, security and conflict management in US, Europe and Asian countries. Mr. Pushkar often writes opinion articles, reports, conduct researches and publish commentary notes on the various contemporary issues related to the areas of his expertise, specially with reference to Nepal. He is an Under Secretary of Nepal Government and well honored as a Peace, Security and Conflict Management Professional. Mr. Pushkar actively involves and contributes regularly to the dozens of national and international nongovernmental organizations as a capacity of peace and conflict management expert.

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