Right to Vote for overseas Pakistanis

August 13, 2018

It’s never too late to do the right thing, although overseas Pakistanis had wished to vote in the General Election 2018, however, mechanism to allow this to happen could not be devised in time. But now it is learnt that Overseas Pakistanis will be able to exercise their right to vote in the forthcoming by-election in the country’s 25 constituencies on October 25, 2018.

Yes of course it is good news, not only for overseas but for Pakistan as a country to give the voting rights to Overseas Pakistani which is a democratic right of Overseas Pakistanis. According to National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) there are on average 29,000 Pakistani voters overseas registered in each National Assembly constituency.

The Supreme Court has granted one week period till August 15, to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to submit recommendations for a mechanism through which overseas Pakistanis could take part in by-polls expected to be held in October. A three-member bench of the Supreme Court is currently hearing multiple petitions seeking voting right for overseas Pakistanis. ECP Secretary Babar Yaqoob told the Court during hearing on Thursday, 09 2018 that ECP would try to enable overseas Pakistanis to cast their votes in the by-polls.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman and Prime Minister in waiting expressed intentions to establish voting portal for Pakistanis residing abroad in order to ensure that their democratic rights remains secured and can be practiced with ease. He tweeted that “Good news for our national asset, the Overseas Pakistanis, PTI’s struggle for their voting rights’ implementation has been won as SC has decided this must be done and directed ECP to ensure the same through electronic means”.

Overseas Pakistanis send billions of dollars annually to the country in the form of remittances and giving voting rights can also be term as acceptance of their services of strengthening the national economy. It is hoped that Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will provide this facility permanently to overseas Pakistanis after the success of this experiment on October 25 in by-poll. Since it is recognized that online voting or postal ballot is a common phenomenon for overseas citizens around the world. It was NADRA, which is proposed an online voting system for overseas Pakistanis earlier this year, which invited concerns from IT experts.

ECP shall provide permanently ‘right to vote’ to overseas Pakistanis.

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