LAHORE: Special Assistant to Chief Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan has said Prime Minister Imran Khan has fulfilled the promise made to the overseas Pakistanis as President Arif implemented an amendment in the Election Ordinance 2021 that permits voting rights to them.

Speaking at a news conference at the Governor House here on Sunday, Dr Awan said the remittances from Pakistanis working abroad were a vital source of foreign exchange for the country and played an important role to keep the wheel of the economy moving.

She said the voting process for these Pakistanis would be carried out through electronic voting machines (EVMs).

She said the recent amendment demanded the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to purchase the EVMs well in time before the general elections for a smooth conduct of the overseas voting process.

Besides legal, electoral, economic and other reforms, the CM’s aide stressed there was also an urgent need for reforms in the country’s judicial system. She said the government and the institutions concerned needed to come up with a plan of action to bring the perpetrators of serious crimes to justice.

The SACM said PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif, who had submitted an undertaking on a Rs50 stamp paper for ousted premier Nawaz Sharif’s return to Pakistan following the latter’streatment abroad, was “trying to flee the country in the dark of the night” instead of facilitating his elder brother’s return to the country. “When the law took its course and barred him from flying to London, the PML-N cabal of cronies started making a hue and cry and attacked the FIA office,” she alleged.

She questioned why the PML-N leadership wanted to rule Pakistan when its kith and kin lived abroad, ran businesses and had properties there? She said the opposition party’s leadership was befooling the innocent citizens of Pakistan as it did not have any love and affection for them.

She said Prime Minister Imran Khan was striving hard for equality of all before the law as no one was above the law. In the past, she said, the powerful mafia always took advantage of the flaws in the system, but now the PTI’s government stood firm against such elements and won’t let them succeed.

Answering a question, the SACM said Imran Khan had no personal dispute with Shahbaz Sharif and he was just fighting the “corrupt mafia” for the people of Pakistan.

She said junior Sharif was barred from flying abroad and the Federal Investigation Agency’s director general just fulfilled his responsibility by not letting him go.

She said Shehbaz took advantage of his age and ailment and had been granted bail, but it did not mean that he was innocent.

Published in Dawn, May 10th, 2021

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