Kashmiri imigrants settled in various foreign countries will soon be granted the right to vote in the elections to Azad Jammu & Kashmiri Legislative Assembly, disclosed Justice Muhammad Munir Chaudhry, Chief Election Commissioner of Azad Jammu & Kashmir.

Talking to this scribe in his office here, he said that it had principally been decided to make necessary amendments to the laws concerned in the near future to facilitate the overseas people of AJK and the Jammu & Kashmir refugees dwelling abroad to exercise their right to vote in the elections to AJK Legislative Assembly. “The formal Presidential ordinance by the AJK President to this direction will be issued soon”, the CEC added while responding to a question.

The 49-member AJK Legislative Assembly is the lower house of the Azad Jammu & Kashmir Parliament which is elected for five-year constitutional term through use of direct right of vote on adult franchise basis by the AJK citizens as well as Pakistan-based Jammu & Kashmir refugees in the elections.

The AJK CEC said that overseas Kashmiris would be registered in their respective ancestral electoral constituencies as well as in various areas of Pakistan where they had been settled in the past before moving abroad.

Justice Munir Ch disclosed that the voters lists were being computerized in the AJK at the existing latest pattern of the computerized voters lists in Pakistan.

Elaborating, the CEC said that the proposed computerized voters lists will also carry the photograph and number of the computerized national identity card of each registered voter. He said that the computerization of the voters lists in AJK would not only help in streamlining the process of registration of eligible voters, but would also remove all type of loopholes and mistakes, if any, in the voters lists.

Justice Munir Ch further said that the proposed computerization of the voters lists in AJK would discourage the unlawful trend or exercise of getting devised double vote by a person.

To a question, the AJK CEC declared that the voters lists of the registered voters of Jammu & Kashmir refugees settled in Pakistan for the AJK Legislative Assembly, would also be computerized at par with the computerized voters lists of the registered voters for the general elections in Pakistan.