Elections 2013: Overseas Pakistanis may be given voting rights

Published: October 17, 2011
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Secretary ECP says recommendations have been formulated and will be forwarded to Law Ministry soon.
 PHOTO: SANA/ FILE

Secretary ECP says recommendations have been formulated and will be forwarded to Law Ministry soon. PHOTO: SANA/ FILE

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) plans to recommend the government to give a right of vote to Pakistanis living abroad, including those who have abandoned their nationality.

Speaking to The Express Tribune, Secretary ECP Ishtiaq Ahmed Khan said: “We have finalised new recommendations that also include allowing right of vote to those who belong to Pakistan, but do not have a Pakistani nationality anymore,” Khan said.

After thorough deliberations, the election commission has categorised overseas Pakistanis.  “Overseas Pakistanis have been divided into people working abroad on a temporary basis, those who have a dual nationality, and lastly people who have abandoned their Pakistani nationality,” the secretary said.

He said the law does not bar dual nationality holders or overseas Pakistanis from casting a vote, adding that the constitution only prohibits dual nationality holders from contesting elections on a national and provincial level.

If the ECP’s suggestions are approved, overseas Pakistanis can cast a vote through postal ballot, he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 17th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (37)

  • R.A
    Oct 16, 2011 - 2:23PM

    " Several Pakistanis have not registered to vote "
    They do not want to get in to the mud of
    Pakistani politics.
    So no and thank you for your offer.
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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Oct 16, 2011 - 3:51PM

    I don’t understand that Election Commission has not be able to completely compile the voters list of CNIC holders despite the fact that the date of compiling has been extended by one month and now the closing date is October 30, 2011, how the Secretary of Election Commission will arrange to sent the ballots by post to overseas Pakistanis?

    We are a nation where people talk a lot and do nothing or if do something it may be very little.

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  • Tahir
    Oct 16, 2011 - 4:05PM

    The majority of overseas Pakistanis support PTI.

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  • Sam
    Oct 16, 2011 - 5:25PM

    @R.A, bad politicans are elected by the people who don’t vote. so get out and vote. you stay home one day and than cry next 5 years. better suffer one day and relax next 5 years. vote, vote, vote

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  • Oct 16, 2011 - 5:28PM

    Much needed.

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  • Javed
    Oct 16, 2011 - 5:37PM

    I think its a fantastic move by the government, May allah give them courage to do this.

    @ Ra: Pakistani politices is a mud because good people are not coming to clean this mud and make it better. Its a right time to get in to politices and choose right people by right people. Only then we can make a better pakistan and better politicians

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  • Kashif Nawaz Shakh
    Oct 16, 2011 - 5:52PM

    It will be very good, if implemented

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  • xohaib
    Oct 16, 2011 - 5:55PM

    i appreciate this. overseas Pakistani must have their right to vote aswell.

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  • awaes(PTI)
    Oct 16, 2011 - 6:32PM

    that`s relli good news for PTI now we shld promote this and hope they will not take u turn on this!!

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  • Syed Sami
    Oct 16, 2011 - 6:59PM

    A welcome step for the pakistanis, if implemented

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  • maria
    Oct 16, 2011 - 7:48PM

    ahh yes!:D

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  • haris mirza
    Oct 16, 2011 - 9:00PM

    if they have any affection for Pakistan they should come pak and cast their vote here. no ‘brain drain’ will do.

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  • Ali
    Oct 16, 2011 - 9:15PM

    Good. My vote for Imran Khan.

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  • Pakistani First
    Oct 16, 2011 - 9:24PM

    Although I am an Overseas Pakistani I think this is not the right move. When we are not living in our country and baring the hardships imposed by the corrupt leader why should we be allowed to decide the country’s future.

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  • John B
    Oct 16, 2011 - 10:37PM

    @haris mirza:
    The PAK “Brian drain” is supporting PAK Economy by her remittances. Without which PAK would be bankrupt.

    Overseas PAK people should put up their candidate or negotiate a position also for infusion of fresh ideas.

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  • FinlandPakistan
    Oct 16, 2011 - 11:19PM

    Good move, thoughts and prayers from a patriotic Pakistani in scandinavia. Lets all vote, near or far everyone. Your vote counts and will change the country’s destiny. InshAllah.

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  • Qamar
    Oct 17, 2011 - 12:12AM

    Good move, thoughts and prayers from a patriotic Pakistani in scandinavia. Lets all vote, near or far everyone. Your vote counts and will change the country’s destiny. InshAllah.

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  • Irshad
    Oct 17, 2011 - 12:25AM

    Great move and great news for PTI. Thanks God we heading towards democracy mow!

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  • Suleiman
    Oct 17, 2011 - 1:02AM

    This could be really great! Come on ECP, you have to a way to Go.

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  • Rabia
    Oct 17, 2011 - 1:56AM

    It’s a great move….I NEED my RIGHT to VOTE!!!
    All other countries granted this right to their overseas citizen, why couldn’t we have it?

    @ Pakistani First … you might not have any affiliation with ur country but I do. my family who is still living in Pakistan is baring all the hardship caused my these corrupt politicians! I’m a US citizen but I would love to go to Pakistan on permanent bases once I finish my education…So I want to see Pakistan Prosper! And the least I can do is eliminate these corrupt mafia through my VOTE.

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  • Pakistani
    Oct 17, 2011 - 2:18AM

    That might not be the best move, overseas Pakistanis have no idea what it is like in Pakistan – all they can do is get manipulated by media or support someone who ‘looks good’ read as Imran Khan. Would be unfair for the people who suffer living inside Pakistan.

    Btw: I am an overseas Pakistani, and if this happens my vote is for MQM, and actually I was planning to fly to Pakistan to cast my vote.

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  • Pakistani
    Oct 17, 2011 - 2:19AM

    If PTI supporters think that IK can change Pakistan, I bet they have enough money to fly over, and vote. They can bear those expense for Pakistan’s sake, can’t they?

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  • Adeel Ahmed
    Oct 17, 2011 - 9:42AM

    Dual Nationality and Temporary Working may have right to vote.

    But definitely NO who surrendered Pakistani Nationality.

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  • Mirza
    Oct 17, 2011 - 10:00AM

    It is easier said than done. Here are some of the issues to consider:
    Pakistan is a constitutional democracy. There is no direct voting for President or PM by the public. People elect their members of national assembly who choose a leader of the house called PM. How would I vote in that election? What would be my constituency? How would people know who are their candidates to represent them? What provincial assembly member would I vote for? I would like to vote for Asma Jahangir or Aitizaz Ahsan, but would they contest from overseas or their local constituencies?

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  • Ahad Siddiqui
    Oct 17, 2011 - 5:47PM

    I suggest we badly need an online voting system which should be implemented through National Identity Card No./Nadra records.

    but in my dreams i guess :)

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  • Cautious
    Oct 17, 2011 - 11:11PM

    You can’t validate the voters who live inside Pakistan – what makes you think you have a mechanism for validating voters outside of Pakistan?

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  • Hamza Satti
    Oct 18, 2011 - 2:38AM

    I agree to the right of voting for overseas Pakistani’s working abroad and the ones bearing a dual nationality however those who abandoned Pakistan should not be given in any sorts of right to vote. They should rather stick to voting in their chosen countries as while abandoning Pakistani Nationality they choose to disconnect themselves from Pakistan.

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  • Sajid Ali
    Oct 20, 2011 - 4:36PM

    Common Pakistan We Need to cast our votes in Canada!!!!

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  • Nauman Zia
    Oct 21, 2011 - 5:55AM

    I love it. I wanted to go back for elections but I will donate my ticket money to PTI and vote from here. I would be first to reach embassy if they ask me to.

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  • Oct 25, 2011 - 5:17PM

    My Vote for Imran Khan

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  • Babar
    Oct 28, 2011 - 11:10AM

    Welcomed act by ECP. I am sure over 95% overseas will vote for PTI :)

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  • Maha
    Oct 31, 2011 - 9:52PM

    well guys,I m late to see this news…..can anyone guide me how to vote from Dubai?….pla reply ASAP

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  • Abdullah
    Nov 1, 2011 - 6:37AM

    i want to vote for next election is it possible for people who live in abroad to vote and if yes than how…!!!!

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  • Maha Khan
    Nov 1, 2011 - 9:26AM

    @Nauman Zia: how will u do that from here?

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  • Amir Wayn
    Nov 1, 2011 - 9:30AM

    @R.A:
    You are not only giving up your legitimate right but also giving an opportunity to burglar to misuse your identity. Its worth of casting than waste

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  • Sajid Ali
    Nov 1, 2011 - 6:56PM

    If we get the right to vote than vote or forever hold your peace :)

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  • sabahat ibrar
    Nov 2, 2011 - 2:50AM

    This is an excellent recommendation…please update it as soon as possible…

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