Overseas Pakistanis have not been deprived of right to vote in previous, present law: CJ IHC

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Chief Justice (CJ) Islamabad High Court (IHC) Athar Minallah has remarked the overseas Pakistanis have not been deprived of their right to vote in previous and present law and prima facie the amendment made by previous government was not in accordance with Supreme Court (SC) orders.

The petition filed against depriving the overseas Pakistanis of right to vote came up for hearing before single bench of IHC led by CJ IHC Athar Minallah Wednesday.

Arif Chaudhry counsel for the petitioner Dawood Ghaznavi appeared before the court.

The court remarked during the hearing of the case the earlier amendment was the same which is present amendment. More clarification has been given in the present amendment.

The court remarked apparently the amendment made by previous government was not in accordance with SC order. The right to vote for overseas Pakistanis has not been abolished in the present amendment. People are outside the country and they reside there. Both the amendments are not abolishing their right to vote. The matter was running since the last 30 years and now this job has been done.

Arif Chaudhry counsel for the petitioner told the court no one can say that the overseas Pakistanis don’t have the right to vote.

The CJ IHC remarked “ give one reply that overseas Pakistanis will cast their vote in what constituency.

The defence counsel told the court all the institutions had come to SC and they had said they all were ready to do this job. SC had given decision after assurance from all the institutions which should be implemented. The amendment made by previous government was in accordance with SC order.

The court inquired how many overseas Pakistanis are outside the country.

The defense counsel told the court 9 million Pakistanis are outside the country.

The petitioner who is residing in US appeared before the court.

The court inquired how the votes are cast in US. There will be some law in US.

The petitioner told the court the US law is not known to him as yet. I belong to Mansehra.

The court remarked the procedure for casting vote by overseas Pakistanis has yet to be settled.

The court while summoning more arguments on the maintainability of the petition adjourned the hearing of the case till JUNE 03.