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PM Imran launches ‘digital power of attorney’ portal for overseas Pakistanis

Voting right to enrich expatriates’ value: PM. (Source: Dawn)

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday launched a digital portal to facilitate overseas citizens to verify the power of attorney and congratulated the Pakistani expats on getting the right to vote.

Addressing the launching ceremony in Islamabad, the premier said voting right to overseas Pakistanis would not only enrich their importance but also enable them to keep a check on governments using their power of vote.

“Every government will be compelled to value the overseas Pakistanis because now they can vote. When they will vote, they will elect a government which will ease their lives,” the prime minister added.

Apparently referring to the Opposition parties, the prime minister said that the people resisting voting rights for non-resident Pakistanis and the use of electronic voting machines were part of the status quo that benefitted from the old “corrupt” system.

He said in democracy, the voters could keep a check on their government through their vote. “As the overseas Pakistanis were around nine million in number, the governments would be forced to value them duly,” he added.

The premier further said the passage of legislation regarding EVMs also made him very happy, and noted that rapidly changing technology was bringing ease to humans’ lives. “So there can’t be a more foolish mentality than avoiding the use of technology today,” he added.  

He recalled that the Election Commission in 2008 and a judicial commission in 2015 had also recommended the use of EVM to ensure holding a transparent election. “But why weren’t they accepted? Because all the people benefitting from the old system will never allow change,” he alleged.

He also mentioned the resistance faced by the government from within the Utility Stores and FBR when it tried to automate their working to bring in transparency. He said tax collectors made huge money and the beneficiaries resisted any effort to curb the practice.

He said the government would launch track and trace system by next week which was made possible after huge efforts and would help to ascertain the real figures of production. “Such a system would discourage tax evasion and keep proper check on the major businesses like cement, sugar and cigarettes,” he added.

Digital portal

According to Radio Pakistan, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and NADRA was also signed at the ceremony. This portal will be linked with NADRA’s database and it is initially being launched for ten countries.

Speaking on the occasion today, the prime minister recalled that the process of developing the portal for digital verification of power of attorney was initiated after an overseas Pakistani from Greece highlighted the issue.

He said earlier, around 75,000 expatriates had to travel to Pakistan for the purpose and go through a cumbersome process. The prime minister repeatedly lauded the overseas Pakistanis for their contribution to support the national economy by sending $30 billion remittances.

He said his government had earlier launched succession certificate facility for the overseas Pakistanis. He said unfortunately, the respective government’s could not tap the potential of overseas Pakistanis who otherwise value their country more and had supported the country in time of distress.

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