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.