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Friday August 12, 2022

Overseas Pakistanis not deprived of voting rights: law minister

Tarar said the government wants to give overseas Pakistanis representation in the Senate and National Assembly

By APP
May 28, 2022
Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar addressing a press conference in Islamabad on May 27, 2022. Photo: PID
Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar addressing a press conference in Islamabad on May 27, 2022. Photo: PID

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Law and Justice Azam Nazeer Tarar on Friday, refuted the news item, claimed that the Pakistani expatriates have not been deprived of their voting rights in the Elections (Amended) Bill-2022.

Addressing a press conference with PPP leader Faisal Karim Kundi and JUI-F Senator Kamran Murtaza, Azam Nazeer Tarar said the coalition government held the presser to brief the media about the amendment in the newly-passed Elections (Amendment) Bill-2022, as some individuals have been trying to distract the people.

The National Assembly on Thursday had approved the Elections (Amended) Bill-2022, while earlier the Senate had also passed the bill.

Tarar said the National Assembly approved three amendments in the Election Act and around 25 amendments in the National Accountability Bureau Ordinance with majority as the courts had mentioned flaws in NAB laws. The law minister said the overseas Pakistanis are assets for the country.

Tarar said the government wants to give overseas Pakistanis representation in the Senate and National Assembly. Tarar said that the government wanted to give overseas Pakistanis representation in Senate and National Assembly. He said that the matter regarding Electronic Voting Machine (EVMs) had been left to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), which had stated in front of the Supreme Court that if elections were to be held, this should be done within six to eight months -- a period not enough to figure out the logistics of electronic voting. The ECP had said it would not be possible to conduct elections through EVM or the internet given the short period of time, he added.

The law minister said the ECP had given its views after reviewing the internet connection, provision of electricity in several parts of the country, and training to be given to the polling staff. He said the recent legislation was only aimed at enabling the ECP to devise a strategy to ensure the right to vote for overseas Pakistanis in a transparent manner. Tarar said the bill was approved by the Senate on Friday by a majority vote amid the opposition's protest. He said that overseas Pakistanis ''right to vote'' would remain intact. He said it was unfortunate that the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were introduced without having any technical expertise, public awareness to use them and logistics as it was not practicable to implement them at once across the country. Azam Nazeer Tarar said that the former government had introduced an e-voting bill in 2021 and attached electronic voting machine with it after bulldozing the Parliament.

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