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Saturday October 23, 2021

Shehbaz Sharif's plan for overseas Pakistanis' representation violates SC order: Babar Awan

PM Imran Khan committed to grant right of vote to overseas Pakistanis, Parliamentary Affairs Adviser Babar Awan says

June 28, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif's proposed formula for the representation of overseas Pakistanis in Parliament violates the Supreme Court's order, says Parliamentary Affairs Adviser Babar Awan.

He was holding a press conference  in Islamabad on Monday, which largely addressed the issue of voting by over seas Pakistanis and Shehbaz's proposal for it.

He called Shehbaz's proposal a "fraud" and said articles 17, 19 and 106(2) of the Constitution all give overseas Pakistanis the right to vote. Awan said Shehbaz wants Pakistanis abroad to be deprived of their right to vote.

Shehbaz had suggested that five to seven seats be allocated in the National Assembly and two seats in the Senate to overseas Pakistanis. He had said that overseas Pakistanis should come to the country to cast their votes during elections.

Awan said Shehbaz should not look for shortcuts and should speak up in Parliament.

Prime Minister Imran Khan is committed to grant the right of vote to overseas Pakistanis, aiming to include them in the decision making process, Awan said.

The right to vote is a fundamental right of overseas Pakistanis, he said, adding that PM Khan  and his coalition partners believe in the supremacy of the Constitution and rule of law.

He invited the opposition to have a discussion with the government, saying the doors of dialogue are open.

Awan said Shehbaz should not insult the Constitution of Pakistan. "If the whole parliament wants together to deprive them (overseas Pakistanis) of their rights, Article 8 of the Constitution prohibits it," he said.

Awan said whatever discussion needed to be done on electoral reforms should take place in the parliament and advised the opposition not to look for "alternate roads".