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Govt to give voting rights to expatriates

Chaudhary Fawad says it seems strange that both the PML-N and the PPP are afraid of giving voting rights to the overseas Pakistanis

Special Correspondent

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain has said the government is determined to give voting rights to overseas Pakistanis and to take steps to hold next general elections through Electronic Voting Machines.

He was briefing the media in Islamabad about the decisions taken at the Federal Cabinet meeting held on Tuesday.

The Minister said EVM is the best way to ensure transparency in the election process and the machines Pakistan wants to adopt will have both paper and electronic trail of the ballot. He said the Election Commission of Pakistan should take practical steps in this regard.

Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said overseas Pakistanis are a great asset for Pakistan as they contribute a lot to the national economy. He said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Government is determined to introduce I-voting for the overseas Pakistanis so that they can participate in electing the national leadership of the country. He said it seems strange that both the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and the Pakistan People’s Party are afraid of giving voting rights to the overseas Pakistanis as these parties know that Prime Minister Imran Khan is the most popular leader amongst the expatriate Pakistanis.

Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said the cabinet also approved the Public Property Encroachment Bill to recover state lands from illegal occupants across Pakistan.

He said it was also approved to have dual nationality with Luxemburg and now Pakistani citizens can adopt the nationality of Luxemburg as well.

To a question, the Minister said around 400,000 people are being vaccinated on a daily basis while we aim to vaccinate 70 million people till the end of this year. He said after achieving the desired target of vaccination drive, Covid situation will be much better in the country. He said our vaccination drive is being appreciated at various forums in the world.

Regarding issues faced by vaccinated Pakistanis going abroad, he said discussions are underway between various countries and the World Health Organization to accord approval of different vaccines.

Responding to another question, Fawad Hussain urged the opposition parties to utilize Parliament for making their suggestions for electoral reforms instead of constituting other political forums. He said in this regard we welcome the suggestions of all stakeholders.

He said Aslam Khan has been appointed as new Chairman of Pakistan International Airlines.

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