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MQM to table bill for overseas Pakistanis’ voting rights

Published Oct 31, 2012 03:41pm


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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.


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Comments (6) Closed

Parvez Oct 31, 2012 07:19pm
Well done. The right to vote should not be denied them.
Saad (DXB) Oct 31, 2012 05:20pm
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.
ar Oct 31, 2012 04:57pm
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 Oct 31, 2012 04:25pm
Excellent Job ! MQM Thanks for support to OSP. It will be well appreciated by millions.
Concerned Overseas Pakistani Oct 31, 2012 06:05pm
Great work Imran/MQM. Please dont stop here ... petition to change the law allowing dual citizens to run for public office.
anwar saeed Nov 01, 2012 12:09am
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.