Although Pakistanis living overseas are as much a part of the country’s political scene as the ones who have to see it every day, but never the less, it rarely happens that they participate in the elections. With the politicians trying to make them count for their support to different political parties, e-voting has been thought of as an option to allow them casting the vote.
The Supreme Court of Pakistan wants to have their voices heard this election, but the Election Commission of Pakistan and the current government is not ready to feel their pressure of choosing the future public officials. The Ministry of Information Technology believes that it can deliver on the task with the help of sophisticated software, but it backs up on applying it in this election.
There is also a technical and legal loophole to it, and that is there is no legislation which would facilitate the e-voting for overseas Pakistan. But, this whole debate has led to forming a committee that will work on procedures and mechanism necessary for it to take place in the future.
There is a genuine fear that exists within the intelligence community and with NADRA, that the personal information of people will be hacked and stolen. To protect their privacy and in a sense lives, until something foolproof is made, e-voting for overseas Pakistanis is not going to happen. Around 4.5 million Pakistanis are living abroad and out of these, 3.5 million are registered voters in Pakistan and hold the National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP) and 3.1 million hold identification with NADRA’s centre.
Hence, it is a sizeable number of Pakistanis which should be able to decide the future government on moral and ethical grounds. They are as much a part of this country’s destiny. Hopefully, these ambassadors of Pakistan will get a chance for their voices to be heard in the elections soon.