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19:08, 20 August 2018 Monday
Update: 15:41, 21 July 2018 Saturday

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Overseas Pakistanis return to cast votes
Overseas Pakistanis return to cast votes

Some 9M overseas Pakistanis lack online or postal facility to vote and must travel home if they want to cast ballots

World Bulletin / News Desk

Mian Shafqat Javed is one of hundreds of enthusiastic overseas Pakistanis who are currently in their native country not this time to see relatives or friends, but to cast votes in the July 25 elections.

According to Pakistani election rules, around 9 million overseas Pakistanis cannot vote online or through postal ballot. Their physical presence in the country is a must for taking part in the process.

“This is totally unjust and illogical,” Javed, a Pakistani-origin businessman living in Denmark, told Anadolu Agency. “Online voting or postal ballot is a common phenomenon for overseas citizens around the world.”

Pakistani law allows its citizens to have a dual nationality.

“I have come to cast my vote because we care for our native country, and want to be part of the process of choosing the leadership,” added Javed, a supporter of the right-wing Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf Party (PTI) party of former cricket star Imran Khan.

Zulfikar Ali Jutt, who works in Saudi Arabia, shares similar views.

“It takes a lot of money and time to come over here and cast our votes. That’s why only a few hundred can make it, while millions of others stay away from the process,” said Jutt, who supports the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) of former three-time Premier Nawaz Sharif.

“Overseas Pakistanis send billions of dollars annually to the country in the form of remittances. We want to be part of the election process, but the governments don’t want that,” he added.



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