CJ appreciates Nadra's software for overseas voting -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

CJ appreciates Nadra’s software for overseas voting

Pakistan Press Foundation

Sohail Khan

ISLAMABAD: The National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) on Monday informed the Supreme Court (SC) about developing software which will enable overseas Pakistanis to exercise their right to vote in the forthcoming general elections being held on May 11.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice (CJ) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry heard overseas Pakistanis right of vote case.The court directed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and Nadra to evolve a common strategy for enabling the overseas Pakistanis to participate in the upcoming general elections.

Appearing on notice, Nadra Chairman Tariq Malik informed the court that in 48 hours they had developed a software so that millions of Pakistanis living abroad could vote in the general elections. Officials of NADRA gave a demo of the software in the courtroom which the court and attorney general appreciated. The chief justice said a positive step has been taken in this regard.

Attorney General Irfan Qadir praised the ‘excellent efforts’ made by Nadra adding that the Foreign Office was ready to extend cooperation in this regard, while the Finance Ministry was ready to bear the expenses.

During the hearing, the Nadra chief said now the software just needs to be deployed in the foreign missions of Pakistan. They have used biometric system for the identification purpose. Sher Afgan, the ECP DG (Elections) while submitting the revised proposals regarding right of voting to overseas Pakistanis said that the final decision has be taken by the ECP.

He said that according to suggestions, the polling abroad would start three days prior to the polling in Pakistan.Later the court adjourn the case till April 10. Meanwhile, the said bench while taking up the dual nationality case issued notices to 12 former parliamentarians who did not appear before the court and directed them to ensure their presence on April 9.

The court, on March 28, issued notices to 20 parliamentarians who had resigned from the National/Provincial Assemblies and Senate for holding dual nationality to explain why they should not be declared ineligible from the forthcoming elections.

During the course of hearing, eight out of twenty former parliamentarians appeared before the court and submitted their contentions in the instant case.Wasim Sajjad, counsel for Donia Aziz, pleaded that his client never acquired nationality of USA but was awarded citizenship due to her birth in USA.

Arif Aziz Sheikh appeared in person and informed the bench that he secured the nationality of Australia and the matter was in the knowledge of the ECP saying he didn’t conceal the fact. Sabin Rizvi told the bench that she was holding dual nationality by birth saying she was awarded citizenship of UK because her children were born there.

Dr Araish Kumar admitted before the bench that he is Canadian citizen while Jamil Ashraf informed about his American nationality renunciation. Javaid Iqbal Tarkai admitted before the bench that he is Canadian national saying the matter of his nationality was under adjudication before a court in Swabi currently.

Murad Ali Shah and Sadiq Ali Memon said that there was renunciation of their Canadian nationality. The court issued notices to those former members of the parliament who were not present in the court for filing replies. They include Dr Asim Hussain, Syed Haider Abbas Rizvi, late Dr Muhammad Ali Shah, Abdul Moeed Siddiqui, Askari Taqvi, Muhammad Raza Haroon, Dr Nadeem Ehsan, Syed Tayyab Hassan, Faiza Asghar and Dr Tahir Ali. Later, the court adjourned the hearing till April 9.

Source: The News

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