FOP Happy EC Will Consider Expatriates Right to Vote

Los Angeles, CA: The Friends of Pakistan (FOP) has welcomed “the Pakistan Election Commission's committee meeting on March 9 to discuss the’Right of Vote’ for Overseas Pakistanis” and “is happy to hear that today EC committee will consider this long awaited issue,” states a Press Release issued by the FOP. The release added:
“We are more than 10 million overseas Pakistanis living abroad and have no voice in Pakistani parliament at any level. We demand Government of Pakistan to give us our fundamental ‘Right of Vote’ and ‘Representation in Pakistani Parliament’ and this must be heard now because overseas Pakistanis are the integral part of the motherland. “

According to a story in The News, for years “not only the Pakistanis living abroad, but also political parties had been advocating participation of the expatriates in the electoral process in the country. In this connection, the chief election commissioner has already set up a committee on right to vote to the overseas Pakistanis, headed by EC Secretary Kanwar Dilshad.

“It may be recalled that the existing laws do not provide for the facility of postal ballot to the overseas Pakistanis, as these laws do not have the extra-territorial application. In view of the ruling coalition's numerical strength in both the houses of parliament, the required legislation could be made to grant this right to the overseas Pakistanis. It is believed that even the opposition would support the legislation in this regard…” the report stated.


Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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