Shahbaz proposes seats for expats’ in NA, Senate

Staff Reporter

Pakistan Muslim League-N president Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday pitched a new formula for the representation of overseas Pakistanis in the parliament while simultaneously taking a clear position that expatriates should come to the country to cast their vote during elections.

The PML-N president has proposed that reserve seats should be allocated for the overseas Pakistanis in the National Assembly and Senate, saying this way the representatives of Pakistanis living abroad would be able to raise issues being faced by the expatriates in both houses of the parliament.

In his formula, Shehbaz, who is the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, proposed to allocate five to seven seats in the National Assembly and two seats in the Senate for overseas Pakistanis, saying that the modalities and conditions of representation in these seats should be decided by all the political parties in parliament.

“The required legislation can be enacted by consensus of the political parties,” Shehbaz said in an official statement at a time when the government has constantly been pushing for electoral reforms, especially, giving the right to vote to the expatriates and holding the next general elections through Electronic Voting Machines.

“This method can ensure a secure representation of Pakistanis living abroad in the parliament,” Shehbaz said.

With this in mind, he recalled, seats were allotted in the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Assembly to represent overseas Pakistanis.

“PML-N supports the right to vote for expats keeping in line with democratic thinking and principles,” he maintained.

Apparently, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government is in favour of allowing overseas Pakistanis to cast their vote via the internet and postal balloting.

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