LAHORE: Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar has accepted an invitation from the World Congress of Overseas Pakistanis to visit the United Kingdom and European countries to speak to the overseas Pakistanis to generate awareness on the crucial issue of water scarcity and building new dams for which funds could be raised from the expatriates.
The top judge was speaking to the Executive Director of World Congress of Overseas Pakistanis Arif Anis after delivering the landmark judgement on Friday through which the Supreme Court permitted Pakistanis residing abroad to cast vote in the upcoming by-polls.
“Many congratulations to overseas Pakistanis today,” said Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar, noting that it would be the first time that expat Pakistanis will be voting in a local election through I-voting mechanism.
The judgement was issued by a three-judge bench headed by the CJP himself which was hearing petitions at the apex court’s Lahore registry. Dr Farhat Siddiqui, along with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan and others through solicitor Muhammad Dawood Ghazanvi, sought voting rights for overseas Pakistanis.
The petitioners had asked the top court to order authorities to give them right to vote so they could participate in elections and choose their leaders. They had also asked the court to order the ECP to implement its 2014 judgment in which arrangements for overseas Pakistanis had been ordered for their fundamental right as guaranteed by the Constitution.
Anis, who was representing the overseas Pakistanis, thanked chief justice Nisar on behalf of the expatriates for their right to vote. He informed the CJP of the efforts of overseas Pakistanis for collection of funds for construction of dams in the country and requested him to visit the UK, Europe and the US. He said that hundreds of millions of dollars could be contributed by the overseas Pakistanis to the funds for construction of dams as the expatriates were worried about the alarming water scarcity situation in Pakistan.
The CJP thankfully accepted the invitation mentioning that he had been earlier invited by many overseas Pakistanis residing in different countries for donations for construction of dams, but it was not possible for him to visit all the countries.
However, he said, he would visit overseas Pakistanis along with the governor of State Bank of Pakistan and the Wapda chairman on a seven days trip to sensitise the overseas Pakistanis about the water crisis in the country. A seven days trip to the UK and Europe is most likely to be scheduled in October.—INP