ISLAMABAD: The Jammu and Kashmir State refugees living in Pakistan and migrants from India intending to permanently settle here will be entitled to vote in the country’s next elections, according to a Presidential Order announced here today [Nov 20].

The order enables the Registration Officers to include in the voters lists the names of those persons, who have migrated to Pakistan either from any place in India for permanent residence or from the State of Jammu and Kashmir with the intention of residing in Pakistan until the relationship between Pakistan and Kashmir is finally determined.

According to Kashmiri circles there are about six lakh refugees from Jammu and Kashmir living in Pakistan. Some Kashmiri political parties have been demanding temporary right of vote for them in Pakistan. The Kashmiri refugees in Pakistan have also been promised the right of vote in the Azad Kashmir elections.

The Order, amending Article 10 of the Elec­toral Rolls Order, 1969, issued on Aug 27 last, also entitles, if otherwise qualified, such a person to be voter, who is born in Pakistan of a father who migrated from India or the Jammu and Kashmir State and, if not dead, would have been an Indian citizen or subject of the said state.

Published in Dawn, November 21st, 2019