ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain has said that the government is determined to give voting rights to Overseas Pakistanis and to take steps to hold the next general elections through Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).
Briefing media in Islamabad on Tuesday about the decisions taken at the Federal Cabinet meeting, the information minister said that the EVM is the best way to ensure transparency in the election process and the machines Pakistan wants to adopt will have both paper and the electronic trail of the ballot.
The minister said that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) should take practical steps in this regard.
Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said that Overseas Pakistanis are a great asset for Pakistan as they contribute a lot to the national economy. He said that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government is determined to introduce I-voting for the Overseas Pakistanis so that they can participate in electing the national leadership of the country.
The information minister said that it seems strange that both the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) are afraid of giving voting rights to the Overseas Pakistanis as these parties know that Prime Minister Imran Khan is the most popular leader amongst the expatriate Pakistanis.
Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said that the Federal Cabinet also approved the Public Property Encroachment Bill to recover state lands from illegal occupants across Pakistan.
The minister said that it was also approved to have dual nationality with Luxemburg and now Pakistani citizens can adopt the nationality of Luxemburg as well.
To a question, the minister said that around 400,000 people are being vaccinated on a daily basis while we aim to vaccinate 70 million people till the end of 2021. He said that after achieving the desired target of vaccination drive, the COVID-19 situation will be much better in the Country. He said that our vaccination drive is being appreciated at various forums in the world.
Regarding issues faced by vaccinated Pakistanis going abroad, he said that discussions are underway between various Countries and World Health Organization (WHO) to accord approval of different vaccines.
Responding to another question, Fawad Hussain urged the opposition parties to utilize Parliament for making their suggestions for electoral reforms instead of constituting other political forums. He said in this regard we welcome the suggestions of all stakeholders.
The information minister said that Aslam Khan has been appointed as the new Chairman of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).