Top officials of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the law ministry held a meeting on Tuesday to review e-voting facility for overseas Pakistanis for May 11 polls for which the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) has developed a software. A source told Dawn that those attending the meeting had already reached the conclusion that overseas Pakistanis should not be allowed to cast their vote this year due to what they called ‘incomplete’ arrangements and some legal and diplomatic constraints. The meeting was also attended by Attorney General Irfan Qadir. “It has been decided that another round of talks on the e-voting will be held on Wednesday. It will also be attended by representatives of Finance Ministry, Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis, Foreign Office, Ministry of Information Technology and Nadra,” a senior official of the law ministry said.
It has been learnt that caretaker government and the ECP are on the same page on the issue as they don’t want the overseas Pakistanis to cast their votes in the May 11 polls due to ‘incomplete’ arrangements. But, the Supreme Court has directed the government and the ECP to ensure provision of e-voting facility to overseas Pakistanis.
The government and the ECP have now agreed that they will try to convince the Supreme Court at the April 11 hearing of the case that it would not be a sagacious decision to allow Pakistanis living abroad to cast their votes.
According to official data reported by media, more than 4.3 million Pakistanis living in 15 countries and possessing National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP) have been registered in the electoral rolls.