ISLAMABAD: Several countries including Saudi Arabia, Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States have accepted Pakistan’s request to allow its overseas citizens to cast votes in the upcoming general elections, said a foreign ministry official on Friday.
“We have received concurrence from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Australia, Canada, the UK and the US,” said Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Aaziz Ahmed Chaudhry at his weekly briefing.
He said that the government was now only awaiting the concurrence of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to allow overseas Pakistanis there to take part in the May 11 parliamentary polls.
There are about five million eligible Pakistani voters currently living in different parts of the world. However, a majority of them are residing in Saudi Arabia, UAE, the UK, the US and Canada.
The Supreme Court of Pakistan has been pushing the Election Commission of Pakistan to make arrangements for the expatriates to cast their ballots in the polls.
Apart from legislation, one of the hurdles was seeking permission from the host countries to allow overseas Pakistanis to take part in the polling.
The spokesperson said that the foreign ministry would extend all possible facilitation for the conduct of polling for overseas Pakistan as soon as a decision is taken by the government in this regard.
“As for countries where polling could be held, the election commission has identified nine countries for polling,” he added.