In a historic judgment today, Supreme Court has allowed overseas Pakistanis the right to vote through an i-voting system. The expats will be able to vote in the upcoming by-elections.
A three-member full bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar conducted hearing over the petitions of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan and others in SC Lahore registry.
The Election Commission of Pakistan(ECP) has informed the apex court that they have developed a mechanism to ensure the voting rights of expats with the help of National Database Registration Authority (NADRA).
CJP also thanked the ECP and NADRA for including the names of overseas Pakistanis in voters lists and sought cooperation from the former for foolproof implementation of the court orders.
“The election results of i-voting should be kept entirely separate and should be presented in the parliament. In case of dispute, those results will be isolated,” CJP said.
As per sources, the overseas Pakistanis would enroll themselves through a website before the election as more than Seven million Pakistanis will have the facility to register their vote.
The chief justice observed pilot project should be completed under the operation plan of ECP, referring to the series of pilot projects that would be conducted in limited areas instead of full constituencies before a final decision on the incorporation of i-voting is taken.
It is worth noting that in 2016, NADRA had announced online voting by overseas Pakistanis is possible and doable with a ease of just using a mobile phone to cast vote.