Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Farooq Sattar.—File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Overseas Pakistanis Dr. Farooq Sattar on Wednesday said that the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) would table a private member bill in the parliament for giving right of vote to overseas Pakistanis.

“The overseas Pakistanis are 4 to 5 per cent of the total population. They contribute $12 to $13 billion precious foreign exchange to the national kitty every year. They should have the right to vote,” he told a news conference here.

He said that National Database Registration Authority (Nadra) had issued around 370,000 National Identity Cards for Overseas Pakistani (NICOP) and they were registered with the authority.

The names of these overseas Pakistanis, he said, should be registered in the voter lists of their respective constituencies.

He said that it was the responsibility of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to register their names besides devising a mechanism to give them the right to vote in general elections.

The MQM leader also appealed to the Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to give direction for registration of votes of overseas Pakistanis in the general electoral lists.

He said that MQM had sent the bill to the law ministry and the cabinet for vetting. There was no obstacle in smooth passage of the bills as all political parties have already given their mandate to the ECP in this regard, he added.

Replying to a question, he said that overseas Kashmiris were using their right of vote in AJK elections and the same procedure should also be adopted in Pakistan.

More From This Section

PM summons meeting after attack on Hamid Mir

A discussion of Saturday’s attack on Hamid Mir would be on the agenda for the high-level meeting scheduled for Sunday.

Slain ANP leader’s house attacked

Unknown gunmen attacked the house of ANP leader Mian Mushtaq late last night and abducted three of his relatives.

Road accident kills 41 in Sukkur

At least 41 people were killed, several others injured in a bus-trailer collision on the National Highway near Sukkur.

Punjab govt accused of being soft on militants

Senior officials say the govt has been “sleeping over” regular intelligence reports on militants' presence in Punjab.

Comments are closed.

Comments (6)

October 31, 2012 7:19 pm
Well done. The right to vote should not be denied them.
Saad (DXB)
October 31, 2012 5:20 pm
I am sure MQM will get a lot of overseas Pakistanis' votes, especially from South Africa and Australia where the MQM activitists who fled during the 90's Karachi operations live. These activists contribute millions of dollars to the MQM's kitty, so getting them the voting rights is but natural.
October 31, 2012 4:57 pm
What is needed is rights for Hindus and Sikhs. Reserve the usual seats for them, but allow Muslims and non Muslims to vote in all the seats. That way they wont be ignored in every seat.
A Karim
October 31, 2012 4:25 pm
Excellent Job ! MQM Thanks for support to OSP. It will be well appreciated by millions.
Concerned Overseas Pakistani
October 31, 2012 6:05 pm
Great work Imran/MQM. Please dont stop here ... petition to change the law allowing dual citizens to run for public office.
anwar saeed
November 1, 2012 12:09 am
Yes. Indeed all overseas Pakistanis should have the right to vote in all Pakistani election. However, should not be able to participate in any election.
Explore: Indian elections 2014
Explore: Indian elections 2014
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
From The Newspaper