Voting for overseas Pakistani would be ensured, ECP tells SC

Published: April 11, 2013
Two polling stations for countries with over 100,000 registered voters. DESIGN: EMA ANIS

Two polling stations for countries with over 100,000 registered voters. DESIGN: EMA ANIS

ISLAMABAD: Just as the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan urged the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the Supreme Court to ensure voting for overseas Pakistanis, the commission on Thursday told the apex court that voting for Pakistanis abroad would be ensured.

The ECP said that home work had been completed to include overseas Pakistanis in the forthcoming general elections. The court was further told that at a recent meeting of the ECP and other functionaries of the government, issues of providing right to franchise to overseas Pakistanis was discussed and had come to a conclusion that their participation would be ensured.

The three member bench of the Supreme Court, comprising Chief Justice IftikharMuhammad Chaudhry, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, were told details of ECP’s meetings on the matter during the past week.

Director General ECP Sher Afgan told the court that the commission had come to the conclusion that inclusion of overseas Pakistanis in the coming election was possible and as part of the first step Pakistanis residing in ten countries would be included.

“About 4.5 million registered voters are residing in other countries, out of which 3.5 million are in the Middle East and 2.9 million out of this figure are currently living only in two countries of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.”

The ECP further stated that the NADRA had made E-voting software for the expatriates and would be utilised during the coming elections. Upon this, Justice Gulzar questioned that when an overseas Pakistani would caste his vote in another country, his vote could also be used in his own constituency which would be tantamount to using one vote twice. The DG ECP though brushed away the concerns, stating that there would be a very small chance of mistakes in the current E-voting system.

Attorney General for Pakistan Irfan Qadir told the court that the first step in this exercise would be a law, as including certain clauses in the legislation, the process would become easier.

Afgan added that per their plan in countries where the population of registered voters was over 100,000, two polling stations would be set up. Any country with less than that number would get one polling station. The court was told that visas for the staff appointed in foreign missions would take two to three weeks.

The bench adjourned further hearing for ten days while directing the ECP to submit further report on the legislation and other matters.

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Reader Comments (30)

  • NICOPer
    Apr 11, 2013 - 10:52PM

    Prove it. I have emailed the local mission eight times now. I called them as well and I was told there are no plans of letting OPs vote as of yet.


  • Sohail
    Apr 11, 2013 - 11:14PM


  • just_someone
    Apr 11, 2013 - 11:36PM

    Well deserved by all us overseas Pakistanis.

    If it werent for us, Pakistan would have defaulted years ago. The remittances that overseas Pakistanis send is one of the chief reasons (other being aid) Pakistan is able to pay for all those cellphones, cars, and almost everything else domestic Pakistanis use/show off on a daily basis.

    They should turn each and every stone to give us the right to determine the future of Pakistan. Its only fair since we are paying for the current one with our hard earned money!


  • Abid Malik
    Apr 11, 2013 - 11:53PM

    Please count my vote for Imran Khan then. I don’t care who is candidate in my constituency as I want to see Imran Khan the next PM


  • Apr 12, 2013 - 12:17AM

    Overseas Pakistanis have always contributed much to their home country. Their vote should count in the upcoming elections May11, 2013


  • Patriotic
    Apr 12, 2013 - 12:21AM

    Well done ECP, good move indeed. Congrats to our overseas Pakistanis.


  • Apr 12, 2013 - 12:33AM

    Excellent development! I will be casting my vote from here in London.


  • FN
    Apr 12, 2013 - 12:58AM

    They MUST be given their due right to vote which they deserve.

    Remittances have been supporting our economy for ages.Recommend

  • Israr
    Apr 12, 2013 - 1:03AM

    I don’t believe a word of what is being told to the SC by ECP. Come May, everything will be brushed aside because of time constraints. I really hope SC has the jurisdiction to fix responsibility for what is definitely going to prove an eye-wash aimed at the SC itself.


  • Shamima
    Apr 12, 2013 - 1:36AM

    During the Musharraf era OPS were able to vote in the Referendum simply by showing the ID card. Of course this is more complicated as there are many constituencies and candidates. But surely it is not impossible to devise a way.


  • Aamir - Toronto
    Apr 12, 2013 - 1:54AM

    What about us Canadian-Pakistanis ?


  • Xulfjan
    Apr 12, 2013 - 2:21AM

    Where r u based?


  • muhammad asif
    Apr 12, 2013 - 2:36AM

    Pti rocked and other parties shocked


  • Azeem Jimmy
    Apr 12, 2013 - 2:52AM

    we pray for honorable CJP that get us the voting right. Your struggle will be highly appreciated in this regard.


  • Apr 12, 2013 - 3:56AM

    ECP let down again Overseas Pakistanis , Sad


  • Hitman
    Apr 12, 2013 - 5:34AM

    Anyone hoping its going to happen its doesn’t look like its possible now. By now everyone registered to vote should have received clear instructions from their high commission about voting process. @NICoper mate high commissions are not even capable of handling NICOP applications how can they handle voting process. Incapable people who will cash your bank draft and later tell you your application is lost. You call them they won’t answer, email them they won’t answer. Expecting them to do something in voting process will be a joke.


  • Mubashir
    Apr 12, 2013 - 5:53AM

    Overseas Pakistanis are Pakistanis too. They should all be allowed to participate in the Election process. Those living outside the Middle East with NICOPs should all be allowed to vote, just as for the Musharraf Referendum. ECP, SC please don’t leave us out of the most important elections of the History of Pakistan.


  • Parvez Amin
    Apr 12, 2013 - 6:15AM

    Madadgar Pakistan, a SYSTEMS BASED political party, has developed a brief that allows verification by the voter before and after counting of votes. The brief is being forwarded to the Election Commission. The proposed system guarantees tamper free voting and even allows changing the vote during a grace period before counting.


  • Apr 12, 2013 - 8:33AM

    Change is coming. Insh-Allah. Vote for PTI, vote for change.


  • Pakistani in Singapore
    Apr 12, 2013 - 8:59AM

    I’m not taking any chances. Have already booked my ticket for 9th May. Time to vote for a Naya Pakistan :)


  • Muneer
    Apr 12, 2013 - 9:35AM

    The CJ’s/SC interference in ECP matters have busted the claim of independence of the election commission to hold/conduct elections.The SC is pushing the ECP to make arrangements to let the overseas Pakistanis cast their vote in the forthcoming elections which should have been a deliberate and well thought out process.Instead,it is turning out to be discriminatery,prone to irregularities,a possible source of rigging, discontentment etc and not the least  wastage of tax payers money/ efforts with no compatible gains.


  • Arshad
    Apr 12, 2013 - 11:51AM

    So the fate of Pakistan will now be decided by those who do not live in Pakistan.


  • Abdul Salam
    Apr 12, 2013 - 12:26PM

    These are just delaying tactics because at the end EC would say that the staff didn’t get the visas so couldn’t do arrangement.

    SC should send all these goons and agents of PPP and PMLN to home for ever.


  • Sam45
    Apr 12, 2013 - 5:32PM

    After all door of rigging the election have been closed by both the demoratic parties! RIGGING THROUGH OVERSEAS VOTE!! is something the establishment mafia has been working on for last 5-6 months!!I have been telling this for last 4-5 months!! Establishment mafia will rig and manipulate the coming election through overseas votes note it!

    This sort of practice of voting is not even done in advanced societies, as there is a huge and easy chance of rigging and manipulation! And we want to imply it here, where we have a proven history of rigging and manipulation by establishment mafia!


  • Khalid
    Apr 12, 2013 - 7:01PM

    Count my vote for PTI.

    Thanks ECP/SC for giving me my right to vote!


  • Khurram
    Apr 17, 2013 - 1:42AM

    Is there any other authentic source confirming this news?


  • Anwar Ul Haq
    Apr 17, 2013 - 5:20PM

    This is to inform that on May 11, 2013 I will be in Madina ,how I can cast my vote which is registered in Islamabad. Kindly guide me, that what will be procedure to cast my vote and where will be polling station.




  • Apr 19, 2013 - 6:41PM

    Greetings! we would like to inform you all please tell us how can cast our vote which is register,
    in Islamabad kindly guide us.and also tell me where will be polling station in Riyadh KSA.
    we will be very thankful to you.


  • Farah
    May 8, 2013 - 3:27AM

    Plzzzzzz cast my vote for PTI, Imran khan is the best leader


  • Saila
    May 9, 2013 - 11:49PM

    Hi, I want to vote for PTI Imran he is well deserving..can you please tell me how I vote for him as I’m in uk….??


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