ECP asks govt to amend laws for expatriate voters


The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday asked the government to amend relevant laws in order to enable about 3.7 million overseas Pakistanis cast their votes in the upcoming general elections. “We have asked the Law Ministry to legislate in order to facilitate the overseas Pakistanis cast their votes. Under the circumstances, postal ballot seems to be the only feasible option,” said ECP Additional Secretary Muhammad Afzal Khan. Briefing journalists about the forthcoming elections and the ECP’s preparations, Afzal said that overseas Pakistanis holding NICOP Card and NADRA Smart Card would be able to cast their votes from the country of their residence if political parties evolve consensus and agree to amend relevant laws. He said that an ECP delegation would soon visit the United States to review the absentee ballot system there. To a question, Khan hoped that the ECP would get the assistance of judicial officers in holding the general elections, adding that the polls would be held under the election management body – the ECP. Replying to another question, he said there would be no role of the army in holding elections; however, he added that the ECP would call in the Army, Rangers and police wherever its assistance would be required.