Shahbaz Sharif proposes formula for representation of overseas Pakistanis in Parliament

Shahbaz Sharif, brother of ousted Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif, and head of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), addresses a press conference after his brother's sentencing, in Lahore on July 6, 2018. Pakistan's former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was sentenced in absentia to 10 years in prison by a corruption court in Islamabad on July 6, lawyers said, dealing a serious blow to his party's troubled campaign ahead of July 25 elections. / AFP PHOTO / ARIF ALI

LAHORE: Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif on Saturday proposed a new formula for the representation of overseas Pakistanis in Parliament. The PML-N chief, in a series of tweets, suggested reserving 5-7 seats in the National Assembly and 2 seats in the Senate so that the representatives can effectively raise the problems faced by the expats. The proposal from Shahbaz comes after the PML-N came under fire by the ruling PTI over their opposition to the PTI’s electoral reforms bill through which the overseas Pakistanis are given online voting rights. “The modalities and conditions of representation on these reserved seats can be decided by all the political parties in the Parliament and the required legislation can be enacted with their consensus,” Shahbaz said. In this way, Pakistanis abroad can get guaranteed representation in parliament, he said, adding that along the same lines, seats may be allotted in the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Assembly to represent overseas Pakistanis. The PML-N supports the right to vote for Pakistanis abroad under a democratic approach and principles, he said. Shahbaz said during elections, expats can come to the country and cast votes at the polling stations mentioned in the voter lists. “Our Pakistani brothers and sisters abroad are our precious asset and the pride of Pakistan,” the PML-N president said. “We want an immediate, fair, and just solution to all the problems of the overseas community that they face vis-à-vis Pakistan,” Shahbaz said.


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