Supreme Court of Pakistan has finally permitted Pakistanis residing abroad to cast their votes in the upcoming by-polls to fill seats vacated by lawmakers who contested and won more than one seat in the July 25 polls or for other reasons.
Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar, congratulated overseas Pakistanis noting that it would be the first time that expat Pakistanis will be voting in a local election.
If the pilot project of overseas Pakistanis voting in the by-elections ends successfully, it will lead to the court granting expats the right to vote in the general elections.
The judgement was issued by a three-judge bench headed by the CJP which was hearing petitions at the apex court’s Lahore registry filed by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan and others, seeking voting rights for overseas Pakistanis.
Justice Nisar directed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to cooperate with the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) and ensure proper arrangements in order to make the pilot project a success.
The court ordered that results obtained from i-voting (internet voting) by overseas Pakistanis will be included in the final results of the by-polls.
However, the i-voting results will also be stored separately and will be taken out from the final count in case a conflict arises, the CJP ordered.