It is alarming to read the recent development in Pakistan where The Election Commission (ECP) & the Govt of Pakistan is considering imposition of new tighter regime on overseas Pakistanis whereby their right to vote, stand election, take public office and or governmental and judicial position may be curtailed forever.
The background of anxiety is the July media reports talking about a ban announced by the Election Commission of Pakistan on the 4th of July 2011 on Overseas Pakistanis to be in the voter lists, hence disqualified to participate in any electioneering process.
Earlier on or around the 19th of April 2011 a Private Members Bill was presented whereby the act of holding dual nationality was condemned and an amendment was sought to ban those who hold dual nationality, foreign accounts and assets to be barred from voting and or contesting for public office. APL issued a statement terming the Bill unacceptable and opposed the bill. Association of Pakistani Lawyers, British Pakistani members of Parliament and EU have expressed their anxiety and Lawyers have made an urgent request to Chief Justice for intervention through ‘human Rights Cell’ to stop this direct discrimination with a large group of 8 million overseas Pakistanis in public interest. Around 1 million Pakistanis alone of Pakistani origin currently are settled in Britain who are reading this development with alarm as they are of the view that desire of a small minority must not be imposed on the majority.
Overseas Pakistanis rightly raised voice for effective return of two exiled premiers to and now the time has come for this minority to rethink and canvass and march forward for their rights, and to obtain a rightful share to invest their mind and energy in national development. Pakistanis remain Pakistanis wherever they are, and due to existing geographical and ethnic cosmopolitan diversity, there is a little room to further alienate them by labelling them with any party or linkage of language, area, or sect. Having said that it was just and fair to continue to supporting civil society, media, lawyers & Pakistani politicians drive for democracy and for restoration of Constitution by lifting emergency once the politics was in exile, and the struggle was justified to assist the return of their beloved leaders to their homeland to continue their politics at home soil but time has come that now the exiled have returned and Constitution is restored along with an electoral process, the Overseas Pakistanis return to their original cause too and contribute in making Pakistan standing in the community of nations as a vibrant, progressive, tolerant and democratic state with rule of law & justice with free and responsible media as its salient features. That’s the dream our founding father Barrister Mr. Jinnah saw for the Muslims of subcontinent. But the same contribution is restricted in an anti competitive style and fashion in fear or resentment in Pakistan.
Over 8 million overseas Pakistanis have a major role to play in the development of the country of their origin (Pakistan). They must take part in local political parties wherever they live and increase their representation in all houses of parliaments and civic centre’s so that their local problems of employment, discrimination, housing, education and fair representation can be raised at the highest level. It will also help their country of origin too if they are stronger in those houses of Parliament in the time of need as was the case on 8th of October 2005 when an earthquake wiped many lives in Kashmir and Balakot and British Pakistani members of Parliament assisted UK Government to raise their aid & assistance from Lakhs to millions, and same was the case during floods in Pakistan in the fateful year of 2010. With the population they have in UK alone, the average seats in Parliament could be over 25 which currently stands at around 5 though the figure is very high as far as Jewish population is concerned though they are little in numbers as compared with us.
Full Article: Quest of Indiscriminate Justice – PakTribune.