ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice (CJ) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry stated that there was no need to pass a law regarding the voting rights of overseas Pakistanis in upcoming elections, Express News reported on Friday.
CJ was hearing a petition on granting voting rights to overseas Pakistanis. An advocate for the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) argued that change in the legislation is important to enable overseas Pakistani to vote.
Earlier on February 14, the Supreme Court directed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to make relevant efforts to ensure that overseas Pakistanis are made an integral part of the country’s electoral and voting system through the implementation of voter registration procedures and the establishment of voting facilities at Pakistani missions overseas.
CJ remarked, “Changes in law are necessary if we want an act in our own country, we do not need laws to make something happen outside Pakistan.”
Justice Azmat Saeed said, “When there’s a will, there is a way. But election commission has faulty intentions.”
“If there is a legislation regarding increase in salaries then it gets approved within fifteen minutes,” stated Justice Khilji Arif. He was speaking in reference to election commission’s reluctance to include overseas Pakistanis in the election process.
Chief Justice further questioned, “If registered overseas Pakistanis’ do not cast votes then how can elections be free and fair.” He further said that participating in elections should not be a compulsion but Pakistani citizens should be encouraged to participate.
The hearing was adjourned till February 27.
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