ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet decided on Tuesday to examine proposals for the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and to allow overseas Pakistanis to vote in the next general election.

The cabinet made a decision on the proposals subject to parliament’s approval of the report on a pilot project to be conducted on the two issues.

The federal cabinet ratified the prime minister’s advice to the president regarding appointment of the Punjab governor.

The cabinet also approved the formation of a special committee, to be headed by the federal law minister, with a mandate to hold consultations with all institutions and experts on enforced disappearances.

EVMs, overseas Pakistanis

According to the Prime Minister’s Office, the federal cabinet approved the tabling of a bill to amend election laws so as to enable overseas Pakistanis to cast their votes in the next general election. The bill will be known as the Elections (Amendment) Bill 2022.

A statement released after the meeting said “participation of overseas Pakis­tanis in the electoral process is essential as they are a precious national asset”.

“The meeting was of the view that the use of electronic voting machines and voting rights for overseas Pakistanis should be examined under a pilot project,” said a press release.

The Election (Amend­ment) Bill provides for the launch of a pilot project on the use of electronic voting machines. A report on the project will be sent to parliament, which will determine its practicability.

Enforced disappearances

PM Shehbaz Sharif was also given a briefing on enforced disappearances during the meeting.

He was told that a bill to amend the Code of Criminal Procedure 1860 had been tabled in the National Assembly. It proposes strict punishment for elements involved in enforced disappearances.

The bill is under consideration by the Senate’s standing committee concerned.

Published in Dawn, May 25th, 2022

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