PPP in favour of voting rights for Pakistani expats - GulfToday

PPP in favour of voting rights for Pakistani expats


Mian Munir Hans and dignitaries celebrate late Benazir Bhutto’s 68th birthday in Dubai.

Tanvir Usman, Gulf Today

The Pakistan People Party (PPP) in the UAE has urged the federal government to grant voting rights to overseas Pakistanis, so that they could take part in the next general elections.

Clarifying the party’s position on the voting rights issue, the PPP’s President in the UAE and Middle East Mian Munir Hans said that his party was a staunch advocate of granting voting rights to the expatriates but it differed with the PTI government over the procedural issues.

While talking to the media on the occasion of late Benazir Bhutto’s 68th birthday in Dubai, Hans said that the government should table the bill in parliament and all political parties must have a say on the matter.

“Such legislation should not be passed through ordinances. Parliament is the only forum where the matter could be debated in a comprehensive way,” he said.

Hans, who worked as a member of Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF) till 2013, said that the expatriates are the backbone of Pakistan’s economy and they deserve more than just the right to vote.

“In my view, overseas Pakistanis should not only get the voting rights but should be allowed to be members of Parliament and Senate as well. No one can understand the problems of expats better than the overseas Pakistanis themselves. Their contribution towards uplifting the country’s economy is immense. Their services should be recognised,” Hans said.

“There are around six million Pakistanis working in the Middle East region. Most of them are labourers. A major chunk of remittances going to Pakistan is from these countries. Unfortunately, they have been neglected by the successive governments since long. There should be a separate policy for the expatriates living in the Middle East countries as they are not the dual nationals like those in Europe or the US,” he added.  

Hans, who remained associated with Benazir Bhutto during her exile days in the UAE, paid glowing tributes to the late leader and the first woman prime minister of the Muslim world.

Hans said that Benazir termed the UAE her second home and enjoyed cordial relations with the country’s leaders. She preferred to stay in the UAE during her exile days, which shows her love for the country and trust in its leadership, he added.

“Benazir was an icon of democracy. She stood firm against the dictators and worked for the betterment of common Pakistanis during her reign as prime minister. Though she is no more among us, her ideology will always be followed by the PPP workers,” he concluded.

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