Important step in the right direction - GulfToday

Important step in the right direction

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Imran Khan

It is a step in the right direction by Imran Khan’s government to allow dual nationals to contest elections (“Pakistan decides to allow dual nationals to contest elections,” July 27, Gulf Today).

It is good news that the Pakistan government has decided to allow dual-national Pakistanis to contest elections in Pakistan.

Special Assistant to the Premier on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said Prime Minister Imran Khan wants dual-national Pakistanis to become part of the country’s political system.

The government should make a solid system that will allow dual nationals to take part in elections.

According to Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Imran has set up a high-power   committee comprising officials from the ministries concerned to suggest ways for making overseas Pakistanis legislators so that they could contribute to the country’s economy.

Dr Awan said that Imran had a plan to utilise the talent and resources of overseas Pakistanis and dual nationals. Therefore, she added, he has set up a committee representing ministries of foreign affairs, interior, parliamentary affairs and overseas Pakistanis to suggest a mechanism to remove hurdles in the way of dual nationals becoming legislators.

She said the prime minister has issued directives to the relevant ministries as well as the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to come up with a comprehensive programme for giving voting rights to overseas Pakistanis. The decision, if implemented, will require an amendment to the Constitution as its Article 63 (c) reads: “A person shall be disqualified from being elected or chosen as, and from being, a member of the Parliament, if he ceases to be a citizen of Pakistan, or acquires the citizenship of a foreign state.”

I think it is the right time to make an amendment to the constitution and allow dual national Pakistani to take part in a general election and country’s progress.

Shoukat Ali
By email

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