Court: SC directs efforts for right of vote to overseas Pakistanis

ISLAMABAD: The Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Wednesday asked the government to make efforts for granting right of vote to the overseas Pakistanis.

A three-member bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and Justice Sh. Azmat Saeed, was hearing a matter pertaining to right of vote to the overseas Pakistanis.

The chief justice noted that without wasting any time, efforts should be made to grant voting rights to the overseas Pakistanis. He said there was no need of a separate law for giving right of vote to the overseas Pakistanis, however if government will draft a bill for this purpose, overseas Pakistanis might be deprived of voting.

Deputy Attorney General Shafi Chandio presented before the court the minutes of a meeting between the Attorney General Irfan Qadir and Election Commission of Pakistan ECP. He stated that another meeting would be called which would discuss legislation and a bill pertaining to this issue.

The minutes of the meeting stated that if overseas Pakistanis were granted the right to vote, then people from one province would want to vote in another province. It stated that currently over 1.6 million Pakistanis are living in Saudi Arabia, 1.3 million in UAE, 3, 64,000 in Britain and 130,000 in the US. Later, the court adjourned the hearing for March 04.

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