LAHORE - Leaders of various political parties on Wednesday lauded the decision of approval for granting the right to vote to the overseas Pakistanis, however some people are worried about the transparency of the process.  The Election Commission of Pakistan has decided to incorporate 3.7million Pakistanis living outside the country in the fresh electoral rolls.

The decision is good but definitely a test for the Election Commission how to engage maximum number of Pakistanis in the process when they are dwelling in far flung area. A central point for their voting will be required, said PML(N) Vice President Sartaj Aziz.

He suggested that High Commission office can be enabled for overseas Pakistanis to poll and the Commission can also verify their particulars. Sartaz says the EC will also need to overcome the difficulty of collecting Pakistanis from various parts of the world to enable them to vote for the contestants in a particular constituency at home. He said the EC must address these difficulties while finalising the process Central President PPP Punjab, Ch Imtiaz Safdar Warraich has lauded the decision and said overseas Pakistanis are also citizens of this country and giving them right to vote in fact, is a small recognition of the services they are rendering to the national economy. He said it was a long standing demand of the Pakistanis abroad which has now been realized.

Naib Ameer JI, Liaqat Baloch said giving the overseas Pakistanis right to vote has been the demand of almost every political party as these Pakistanis remain highly concerned about the situation in this country.

He however said that it is now the Election Commissions responsibility to evolve a transparent procedure for their balloting for which he added, input from the political parties can also be obtained.

PML(N) City President Muhammad Pervez Malik has also supported right to vote to Pakistanis living abroad however said the EC still needs to complete its homework to comply with this decision. He said the real test for the Commission would be to enable them to vote. He said the number of overseas Pakistanis is not high enough to affect the election results; however it would certainly give them a sense of participation in the political process.

Kamil Ali Agha of the PML(Q) says his party always stood for the right to vote for the overseas Pakistanis and their demand has been met. He said almost every political party has its organisations outside the country and if Pakistanis through them are activated to take part in the election they will in turn, be in a better position to project a better image of Pakistan.

However, he said the decision has yet to pass through the House of enactment after which further process of vote will be worked out.

Ata Maneka, MPA of the Unification Bloc in the Punjab Assembly said the decision is appreciable yet it must not become a tool in the hand of the Election Commission to delay completion of the fresh electoral rolls thus affecting time of the next election which are likely to take place this year.