Nadeem Raza (Senior Analyst): It had been a long standing demand of the overseas Pakistanis from the government to grant them right to vote. Some nine million Pakistanis have been residing in various countries of the world. Many of them visit their home country for brief periods of time during vacations. But they are really interested in development and prosperity of Pakistan. It is yet to be seen how the arrangements for enabling them to vote will be made. Opposition parties are protesting over the use of Electronic Voting Machines and it is the job of government to make sure that no one raises any objection on electoral process. The incumbent government has also introduced Roshan Digital Accounts for overseas Pakistanis to provide them maximum facilities. As a result, foreign remittances through legal channels have increased to manifold in recent months.
Meraj Mehmood (National Union of Journalists, Ireland): It is a very good development that Pakistanis living abroad have been granted right to franchise. PTI-led government is gradually making good on its promises. The government’s launching of Roshan Digital Accounts will help overseas Pakistanis to make investments in the home country. Overseas Pakistanis have a great love and affection for the motherland and it is hoped that more facilities will be provided to them.
Dr. Rasheed Ahmad Khan (IR Expert): Overseas Pakistanis have always played a vital role in national development. They have been sending precious remittances to Pakistan to uplift the national economy. It is a very appreciable step of PTI-led government to grant them right to vote and have a say in national politics. Besides, the government has also launched various initiatives to provide more facilities to Pakistanis who have been in foreign countries. A good example is Roshan Digital Accounts which not only provides lucrative profits to overseas Pakistanis but also discourages illegal money transfer channels.
Brig. (Retd.) Mehmood Shah (Defense Analyst): Qatar has been acting as a facilitator in talks between the Taliban government and the US. In past, it also hosted various sessions of talks between the two parties. The US should provide humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan as it stands in a critical position. Pakistan has been conveying to the world about the precarious situation of Afghan people. Islamabad, despite its limited resources, has been providing assistance to the brotherly neighboring country.