LAHORE – Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Khawaja Saad Rafique on Tuesday moved the Lahore High Court to bar the overseas Pakistani from using their voting right in the upcoming by-polls
As per details, Justice Mamoonur Rasheed heard the petition in which the former railways minister has argued that the Election Commission of Pakistan registered the overseas Pakistanis before the legislation in this regard.
The petitioner has pleaded the court to declare the verdict null and void. However, the court has summoned registration details from the ECP.
By-elections for vacant national and provincial assembly seats will by held on 14 October as per the ECP schedule. Rafique is also taking part in the by-elections from NA-131 (Lahore).
In August earlier this year, the Supreme Court allowed overseas Pakistanis for the first time to use their right to vote in coming by-elections, fulfilling the key demand of the expats.
A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar issued the ruling while hearing a set of petitions filed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan and some overseas Pakistanis.
The petitioners had pleaded that the denial of right to participate in the democratic process by the overseas Pakistanis would mean refusal by the government to carry out its constitutional obligation.
The chief justice has ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan to make arrangements with the association of the NADRA to facilitate the overseas citizens to cast their vote through internet.
“Many congratulations to overseas Pakistanis today,” said CJP Nisar, saying that it would be the first time expat citizens will be casting their votes in local election.
If the pilot project of voting in the by-polls ends successfully, the court would allow the overseas Pakistan to use their right to vote in genral elections.
“If any conflict erupts during the by-polls due to the internet voting then separate the results of i-voting,” the top judge ruled, adding that the results, later, be presented in the parliament.
Earlier, the ECP also announced that overseas Pakistanis would be able to take part in voting through the internet in the by-polls