According to local media reports, the decision was made at a meeting at the headquarters of the Election Commission in Islamabad on Tuesday. The change is expected to affect more than three million Pakistanis living abroad, with another meeting expected soon to decide whether voting should take place by postal ballot, or at polling stations set up at foreign embassies. Voting will be limited however to those Pakistanis who have a National Card for Overseas Pakistanis or NICP card, an identification card which allows expats visa-less entry into their home country.
Pressure for the franchise to be extended to overseas nationals has been building for some time, though previous proposals for change have always been overturned. Last year however former cricketer Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek e-Insaf (PTI) party lodged a petition with the Supreme Court, after which the Commission was asked to investigate.
Many experts predict that PTI – a progressive party which is building formidable momentum in the run-up to the next election – stands the most to gain from the move, as it has a significant following among those overseas citizens who are disillusioned with the country’s ruling Pakistan People’s Party.
Full Article: Pakistani expats given voting rights – Telegraph.