Voting right for expatriates

KARACHI: Even this time, overseas voters will not be able to vote in the elections on the 25th of July. Owing to various reasons, NADRA officials say that overseas voters can be allowed to vote in the by-elections to check for the technical and procedural complications. I believe that the ECP should put in greater effort to ensure that overseas Pakistanis can vote in the next general elections, making the most of the five-year period to finalise arrangements. Around 7.6 million Pakistanis are living outside the country. Imagine if those 7.6 million citizens were given the opportunity to vote, it would make a big difference. The case pertaining to overseas Pakistanis’ right to vote is still pending with the Supreme Court of Pakistan. In the US presidential elections, American citizens living abroad are allowed to go to their local embassy to exercise their right to vote. It is crucial to go for reform on this issue, providing the overseas Pakistanis a secure system to cast their votes.

Alifya Akhtar

Published in The Express Tribune, July 20th, 2018.

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