Islamabad [Pakistan], September 4 (ANI): Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Sayed Zulfikar Bukhari, who served as the special assistant to Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development (OPHRD), on Sunday renounced his British citizenship, saying that he will fight alongside former PM Imran Khan for his "real freedom movement".
"The country needs us... win or defeat is in the hands of Allah, but we have decided to serve Pakistan," said Bukhari, who is a close aid and friend of Imran Khan, adding that those who fled Pakistan are trying to take asylum but they will have to return soon.
"It was said that I will run away from Pakistan, he has a British passport, there are no Pakistanis with dual citizenship," Bukhari tweeted adding, "Today I renounce British citizenship and right to live there for Pakistan and for the people of Attock. I am 100% Pakistani, I must live and die here, Overseas Pakistanis will always be in our hearts."
"I stood with Imran Khan in difficult times. I am a Pakistani and I will remain a Pakistani," he added.
The British Home Office has also issued a notification, confirming the development, Express Tribune reported.
PTI leader, Shireen Mazari also confirmed the renunciation of his British nationality. Taking to Twitter, she said, "So much for conspirators propaganda against him that he would run away to the UK after regime change conspiracy."
Mazari said that Zulfi is standing with the party chairperson Imran Khan and PTI's movement of Haqiqi Azadi.
Zulfi's appointment as SAPM was challenged in the Pakistan Supreme Court back in 2020 for being a dual national. The petition stated that dual nationals should not be appointed as the premier's special assistants.
The former SAPM resigned from his post over allegations made against him in Rawalpindi Ring Road inquiry in 2021.
The issue of Bukhari's citizenship came to the fore in 2018 when he was appointed as a special assistant to then prime minister Imran Khan. The move was challenged in Supreme Court.
The petition argued that a person ineligible to become a member of the Parliament and thus a federal minister cannot be given the status of a state minister through appointment by the prime minister as a special assistant, Express Tribune reported.
Later, Bukhari contended before the Supreme Court that he is a citizen of the United Kingdom by birth as he did not acquire any nationality.
"The answering respondent (Zulfi Bukhari) was born on December 3, 1980 in Britain and is a British citizen by birth. His citizenship was conferred by birth and not acquired by any action on his part. As such answering respondent did not take oath of allegiance. Despite being born in Britain, the answering respondent voluntarily opted to be a Pakistani citizen and be subject to Pakistani law," said the reply submitted by his counsel Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan in the case regarding the appointment. (ANI)