To the great dismay of the overseas Pakistanis, their right of vote has once again been held back despite serious efforts by the apex court. At one stage it appeared as if all was set for 4.5 million expatriates to cast their vote in the coming general elections to be held on May 11. A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry announced a short order, disposing of petitions filed by Chaudhry Nasir Iqbal and Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan after the ECP’s refusal to grant the voting right to overseas Pakistanis before the May 11 elections. The order followed after Attorney General Irfan Qadir submitted a written statement. The Supreme Court, in its short order, has expressed its confidence that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) would continue its endeavour to grant Pakistanis living abroad the right to vote as envisaged in article 17 of the constitution. The Attorney General is reported to have informed the bench that during the meeting, the ECP unanimously agreed to accomplish the desired task while requesting the government to prepare requisite proposals for effecting the required legislation which may be made applicable to the overseas Pakistanis after the forthcoming general elections in the country. Overseas Pakistanis are a backbone of national economy since their remittances form major chunk of foreign exchange earnings. Earlier their right to become members of the parliament was denied and a large number of dual nationality holders were disqualified by the Supreme Court under the provisions of Article 62 and 63. It is an established fact that overseas Pakistanis have always been concerned with the welfare of their motherland and their fellow citizens living back home. In this age of information technology, it is hard to believe that a software system or other voting mechanism could not be set up. These were largely hitches and excuses of a bureaucratic nature to keep a large segment of Pakistanis out of the electoral arena.