Expatriated should get right to contest polls: PM

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) believes that expatriate Pakistanis should not only have the right to vote but also be eligible to become members of parliament, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf said here on Saturday.

By Afzal Khan

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Published: Tue 21 Aug 2012, 12:46 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 9:52 AM

Ashraf said that fair and transparent elections are the need of the hour and all political and religious parties will be taken on board for the formation of the interim set-up.

Talking to a delegation led by Chaudhry Javed Iqbal and comprising expatriate Pakistanis based in London, the prime minister said that the PPP had been unable to effect change in the present status of expatriates because granting the right of representation to those who hold dual nationality involves an amendment to the Constitution. PPP does not have the requisite numerical strength in parliament for constitutional amendments.

He further said the government is still striving to evolve a consensus so that the constitution can be amended and expatriate Pakistanis given the right to contest elections.

“The PPP needs to convince its coalition partners who, while being fully supportive and cognizant of the role of Pakistanis abroad for the progress and development of the country, have somehow shown reservations to amend the constitution.

The prime minister said that Pakistanis abroad sent their hard earned money to Pakistan because of their love for their country of origin, adding that remittances being sent by them are on the rise. He said this is very helpful in stabilising the economy.

He said that in the past four-and-a-half years, Pakistan had faced floods, terrorism and an international economic crunch because of the slowdown in the global economy. “Yet, we have to move forward and have been able to make achievements like the passage of the 18th amendment, granting more political autonomy to the provinces and a transfer of resources to them,” he added.


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