ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday said that voting right to overseas Pakistanis provided through Wednesday’s legislation would not only enrich their importance but also enable them to keep a check on governments using their power of vote.
“Every government will be compelled to value the overseas Pakistanis because (now) they can vote. When they will vote, they will elect a government which will ease their lives,” the prime minister said addressing the launching ceremony of a portal to help the expatriates get digitally verified their power of attorney.
He said in democracy, the voters could keep a check on their government through their vote. As the overseas Pakistanis were around nine million in number, the governments would be forced to value them duly.
Secondly, he said the legislation on the use of EVM in elections was also made possible as NADRA made it easier to ensure election using the latest technology.
He said as the technology had changed the world altogether, its non-usage would be nothing but a silly approach.
He recalled that the Election Commission in 2008 and a judicial commission in 2015 had also recommended the use of EVM to ensure holding a transparent election. He viewed that in fact those desiring to take advantage of old system would never let the change to come in.
He also mentioned the resistance faced by the government from within the Utility Stores and FBR when it tried to automate their working to bring in transparency. He said tax collectors made huge money and the beneficiaries resisted any effort to curb the practice.
He said the government would launch track and trace system by next week which was made possible after huge efforts and would help to ascertain the real figures of production. Such a system would discourage tax evasion and keep proper check on the major businesses like cement, sugar and cigarettes.
He told the audience that the EVMs were functional across the world and it could also address all of the election-related issues in Pakistan.
The prime minister said around 1.5 million votes were rejected in last elections which could have been saved in case of EVMs. The EVMs will also help to do away with the practices of fake votes, he added.
The prime minister said the incumbent government also called for an open ballot in Senate election as secret ballot involved huge money to buy the way into Senate.
But he said both the PPP and PML-N opposed the move despite the fact that the PTI had no advantage of this open ballot.
Referring to the opposition’s criticism on legislation in joint session of the parliament, he said that ”yesterday’s drama” was also meant to stop the overseas Pakistanis from voting.
The prime minister said the PTI government had granted voting right to the expatriates and reiterated his government’s resolve bring more ease in their lives.
The prime minister recalled that the process of developing the portal for digital verification of power of attorney was initiated after an overseas Pakistani from Greece highlighted the issue.
He said earlier, around 75,000 expatriates had to travel to Pakistan for the purpose and go through a cumbersome process.