Overseas Pakistanis fly in to vote



A large number of overseas Pakistanis came back home to vote, including 500 Pakistanis from Lebanon who support the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf (PTI).

These overseas Pakistanis, who had particularly come at a chartered aeroplane to vote for PTI, said that for the first time they saw the importance of voting and playing their part in choosing a leader who could guide the country out of crisis.

Unfortunately registered Pakistani voters living abroad, whose numbers range from 3.7 to 4.5 million, were not able to exercise their voting right because the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) insisted that the electronic software which would allow distance voting is unavailable even though the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) had said before the elections that the e-voting system was ready. Under this system, a voter who showed his/her National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP) and machine-readable Pakistani passport would have been able to vote online at the Pakistani embassy/consulate in his/her respective country.

“It’s amazing and I am feeling very lucky to be a part of the electoral process because for the first time in the history of the Pakistan Imran khan inspired me to vote. I think we should choose only those leaders who could inspire us like he did,” said 43 years old Sana Alvi while voting in NA-128

“I am very proud of being a Pakistani and now I realize that not participating in the electoral process can heavily cost us. In past elections we were completely uninterested and unmotivated as we just saw the same speeches and manifestos being repeated,” maintained Muzamil Shahid, a member of Lebanon’s Pakistani community.

56-year-old Haji Naseem who just came to Pakistan from Riyadh for participating in the elections said he had never witnessed such enthusiasm regarding voting in Pakistan in history.

Further, 62-year-old Nawaz Mehmood told Pakistan Today that this election was unique because of the unprecedented level of women’s participation.

However, Nabeel Zaidi, who moved from Cameroon to Pakistan with his family had a complaint, “I sent several messages to 8300 but I did not get a single message in reply. I am very frustrated because voting is every citizen’s right and we are also a part of this nation. This should not happen as the ECP had promised free and fair elections.”