ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court observed on Tuesday that overseas Pakistanis should have the right to vote in general elections.

In consultation with the government, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) should establish a transparent mechanism for the purpose since the same has been exercised in 25-30 countries, observed a two-judge bench hearing a petition filed by the PTI for expatriates’ right to vote.

Since PTI’s counsel Hamid Khan could not appear before the bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, the court put off the hearing until November 7 on the request of Khan’s assistant Rana Waqar.  The court also heard a petition filed by the Jamaat-e-Islami wherein the JI said the commission had excluded the names of people from Swat from the voter lists in Karachi where they had been living for the past 35 years, but the ECP registered their votes in their hometown.

The court asked the counsel to approach the commission for the purpose. There is a provision of the commission that anybody can approach it for registration of vote on temporary residential address and without consuming time the aggrieved persons should knock at the door of commission before the upcoming general elections, it added.