Overseas Pakistanis not disenfranchised: Justice Minister

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Justice Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar during a press conference in Islamabad on May 27, 2022. Photo: PID

ISLAMABAD: Federal Law and Justice Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar on Friday refuted the news, saying Pakistani expats had not been disenfranchised in the (Amended) Election Bill 2022.

Addressing a press conference with PPP leader Faisal Karim Kundi and JUI-F Senator Kamran Murtaza, Azam Nazeer Tarar said the coalition government held the presser to brief the media on the amendment in the draft Elections (Amendment) Act 2022 recently passed, as some of the individuals tried to distract people.

The National Assembly had approved the 2022 Elections (Amended) Bill on Thursday, while the Senate had also passed the bill earlier.

Tarar said the National Assembly approved three amendments to the Elections Act and about 25 amendments to the National Accountability Board’s order by majority because the courts cited flaws in the NAB laws. The Minister of Justice has said that overseas Pakistanis are assets to the country.

Tarar said the government wanted to give overseas Pakistanis representation in the Senate and National Assembly. Tarar said the government wanted to give overseas Pakistanis representation in the Senate and National Assembly. He said the issue of electronic voting machines (EVMs) had been left to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), which had told the Supreme Court that if an election was to be held, it should be done within six months. eight months — an insufficient period to understand the logistics of electronic voting. The ECP said it would not be possible to hold elections via EVM or the Internet given the short period of time, he added.

The Minister of Justice said that the ECP gave its opinion after examining the Internet connection, the supply of electricity in several regions of the country and the training to be given to electoral staff. He said the recent legislation was only meant to allow the ECP to devise a strategy to ensure voting rights for overseas Pakistanis in a transparent manner. Tarar said the bill passed the Senate on Friday with a majority amid opposition protests. He said the “voting rights” of overseas Pakistanis would remain intact. He said it was unfortunate that Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) had been introduced without any technical expertise, public awareness of their use and logistics, as it was not possible to implement them immediately across the country. country. Azam Nazeer Tarar said the former government introduced an e-voting bill in 2021 and attached an e-voting machine to it after razing parliament.

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