By Dr. Arif Alvi
I believe that Overseas Pakistanis (OPs) should have the right to vote in elections in Pakistan. Many Presidents and Prime Ministers have made this promise whenever they have been abroad. Even the Supreme Court charged the Election Commission of Pakistan to look into this issue and to devise a plan (in the 90’s).
However such a right if given will shake the established corridors of power wherein there is a huge reflection of bogus and coercive voting in maintaining the status quo. How does it take place, whether by constituency politics or by proportional representation wherein our OPs vote for parties rather than particular candidates is for people to decide. However, a lot of countries particularly in the Middle East would not allow campaigning. In such a situation party platform may be the easier choice.
Our embassies and consulates have put up a questionnaire and I think all those who have an opinion must start pushing our government and legislature in this direction.
Please see link below and forward to all our Pakistani friends living abroad. Make it viral and work it as a non-partisan huge campaign.
1) Questionnaire on grant of right of vote for overseas Pakistanis
2) Register for Right to cast vote for overseas Pakistanis
Dr Arif Alvi