Overseas Pakistanis Won’t Be Able to Vote in Elections

As Election Day draws near, there has been a flurry of activity, both online and offline, asking people to go out and vote to decide the fate of Pakistan for the next 5 years. There’s no doubt that social media has been instrumental in galvanizing people to exercise their responsibility in this regard.

Over the last few days, there have been images circulating over social media that claim that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and NADRA have developed an Online Voting System for overseas Pakistanis, using which they can cast their votes from abroad.


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However, much to the dismay of overseas Pakistanis, that is not possible for the upcoming elections. All speculations in this regard were laid to rest by NADRA yesterday.

The authority said only Pakistanis who are present and registered voters in the country can cast their votes. It further said to disregard any images and messages on social media pertaining to the same issue.

Overseas Pakistanis can’t vote in the upcoming Elections.

It is worth mentioning that the Chief Justice Saqib Nisar had ordered the relevant authorities to allow overseas Pakistanis to cast their votes following which an online voting system was developed by NADRA a few months ago.

However, the reliability of such a system was questioned by IT experts, who said that the system can be hacked and data from it can be stolen easily.

Here is an image which is being shared in different WhatsApp groups as well as on other social media platforms:

Nadra ECP Overseas General Elections 2018

As it can be seen, the image lists a step by step guide on how to register for voting, the eligibility criteria, and more. The information is based on a previous report from 3 months ago when the system was being developed and IT experts had yet to weigh in.

Furthermore, the website for overseas Pakistanis www.overseasvoting.gov.pk isn’t online as well. Previously, NADRA officials told that the ‘online voting for overseas Pakistanis can be experimented in by-polls”.

No decision has yet been taken on the matter as NADRA and ECP are set to give a detailed presentation before a Supreme Court bench regarding online voting system after the General Elections.

Feature Writer

    • Normally I’d agree, but there are legitimate questions to the reliability and security of such a system. If it gets hacked, by any political party or otherwise, the scale at which voter fraud will be committed is unheard of.

      Such a sensitive system should not be rushed out, it should be battle tested against hacking attempts and made as secure as possible before it is rolled out to the masses.

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