Govt should consider constitutional aspects, say parties | Pakistan Today

Govt should consider constitutional aspects, say parties

As the government is set to grant Kashmiris residing in Pakistan the right to dual registration of vote — in the State of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and in one electoral area in Pakistan — the political parties have urged it to take all legal and constitutional aspects into consideration in the face of the complex status of Kashmir before making a decision. The parties believe that any wrong decision regarding Kashmiris could call into question the disputed status of Kashmir and have a negative impact on Pakistan’s stance on the disputed territory. They asked the government to take all the stakeholders, including political parties, into confidence in this regard.
Senator SM Zafar of the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) supported the government’s decision but also expressed some reservations. “This is a very sensitive issue that needs to be thoroughly deliberated upon as it involves the unique status of the Kashmir State,” he said. He said keeping in view the complex situation of Kashmir, the Kashmiris should be granted the right to dual vote for the time being and a parliamentary committee should be constituted to discuss the issue. Senator Prof Khurshid Ahmad of the Jamaat-e-Islami said his party had still not taken a clear line on the issue, however, giving his personal opinion, he said the base upon which Pakistan had been declaring Kashmir a disputed territory should not be weakened by any of the government’s decisions on the issue. Senator Tahir Hussain Mashhadi of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement said his party was yet to take a decision on the issue and would discuss the government’s proposal in detail to reach a decision. Senator Haji Adeel of the Awami National Party rejected the government’s decision, saying the citizens of Indian Occupied Kashmir were not entitled to exercise the right of dual vote.
Shah Ghulam Qadir of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (AJK Chapter), however, supported the government’s move saying there was no harm in granting the Kashmiris right of dual vote.

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