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Pakistan govt considers voting rights for NRPs.

DOHA THE Pakistan government is considering to grant voting rights to non-resident Pakistanis (NRPs), Pakistani nationals working or living abroad.

The Pakistan government has circulated a questionnaire among its missions abroad to find out if expatriate Pakistanis were interested in exercising their right to vote in the general elections held in Pakistan.

"We have circulated the questionnaire among community members in Qatar and will forward their response to the government to examine in its light the proposal of giving right of vote to overseas Pakistanis," said Community Welfare Attache Dr Mansoor A Rizvi while speaking to the Qatar Tribune.

Rizvi said the purpose of the questionnaire was to ascertain how much NRPs were interested in participating in the electoral process back home.

"Based on their response, the government will decide the future course of action," said Rizvi.

Besides seeking vital information, the questionnaire contains simple questions like the date of arrival of an NRP in the country of residence; whether he or she was registered as a voter in Pakistan; whether an NRP holds dual nationality and whether he/she was interested in exercising the right of vote in the country of residence to elect representatives for national and provincial assemblies.

Respondents can also give their suggestions and offer comments besides answering questions in the questionnaire.

The move to grant voting rights to non-resident Pakistanis was mooted after Pakistan's Federal Minister for Overseas Pakistanis, Dr Farooq Sattar, requested the government to give voting right to the Pakistani people living aboard.

During a recent visit to Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani had assured right of vote to Pakistanis residing outside the country.

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Publication:Qatar Tribune (Doha, Qatar)
Date:Jun 14, 2010
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