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Pakistani expats in UAE hail e-voting announcement

Waheed Abbas/Dubai
Filed on November 17, 2020
Alamy image used for illustrative purpose

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan said steps are now being taken to make electronic voting happen.

Pakistani expats in the UAE on Tuesday welcomed the announcement that electronic voting will soon be introduced in their home country, allowing some nine million overseas Pakistanis to cast their ballots for general elections.

Imran Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan, announced the e-voting system, saying that a mechanism shall be devised to make it happen. He told local media that the government is now consulting the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra), regarding the possible use of its data for electronic voting purposes. A bill will soon be introduced in the parliament in this regard, he added.

Members of the Pakistani community in the UAE described the move as a step in the right direction.

“There might be some teething problems, but this is a good initiative not just for the country but even for the overseas Pakistanis, though they make up just one to two per cent of the country’s voters,” said Iqbal Dawood, president of Pakistan Business Council, Dubai.

Dr Qaiser Anis, president of Pakistan Business Professional Council, Abu Dhabi, said he is confident that e-voting would finally be implemented this time.

“Electronic voting was also promised by earlier governments to overseas Pakistanis but it didn’t materialise. Imran Khan is an honest person and we are confident that he will keep his promise, and our voice will be heard in the upcoming elections,” said Dr Anis.

He pointed out that the country has the talent to roll out this technology, solve cybersecurity issues, and maintain a transparent e-voting system.

Dr Anis also suggested that having a ‘senate’ of top technocrats from all walks of life could “help run the country better”.

Sheikh Najam-us-Saqib, a long-time Dubai resident, also welcomed the initiative. “I’ve always voted for Imran Khan and I was sure that he will deliver on all fronts. Khan also enjoy strong support of overseas Pakistanis and this will also benefit his party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf.”

waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com





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