NADRA chief should quit if overseas Pakistanis are not provided right to vote: CJ

Heading a three-member Supreme Court bench hearing a case pertaining to right of vote to the overseas Pakistanis, the Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Friday said that NADRA chairman should quit his job if he fails to provide the facility to vote to the overseas Pakistanis.

He said if Secretary Defence was asked, he could have the GHQ make e-voting software for the overseas voting process. The bench also comprised Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Sh. Azmat Saeed. Appearing on notice, Attorney General Irfan Qadir presented before the court a report revealing that the facility providing right of vote to the overseas Pakistanis would cost $ 1.5 million.

NADRA chairman Tariq Malik told the courts that 4.5 million Pakistanis had been registered and issued NICOP, adding that a proposal had also been given for online applications. He said the proposal would consist of four stages such as voter registration, voter verification, vote casting and result sharing.

Justice Gulzar Ahmed noted that voters’ registration had already been completed and at least ten countries where a large number Pakistanis resided must have mechanisms for voting. He said polling stations should be made in embassies and consuls, adding that voters were more important than the elections as they were the real stakeholders.

Later, the court adjourned the hearing till April 01 directing the Foreign Secretary, Law Secretary, Secretary Overseas Pakistanis, Secretary IT, Chairman NADRA and Election Commission of Pakistan to devise a strong mechanism for overseas voting.