ISLAMABAD: The Office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court (SC) has returned a petition submitted by Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, asking the federal government to allow overseas Pakistanis to vote in the upcoming general election.

The former Home Minister had filed a petition with the SC under Article 184(3) of the Constitution, making the Federation of Pakistan, Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, Ministry of Law and Justice and Election Commission of Pakistan defendants.

He urged the Supreme Court to declare the Amendment to Section 94 of the Elections Act 2017 (Act XXXIII of 2017) and Section 3 of the Elections (Amendment) Act 2022 (Act X of 2022) as unconstitutional and void ab initio.

The Registrar’s Office, however, dismissed the petition with objections, stating that the petition failed to indicate what matters of public importance in the present case were involved in relation to the application of any of the fundamental rights guaranteed. by the Constitution in order to directly invoke the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court under Article 184, paragraph 3, of the Constitution.

The Registrar’s office said the petitioner had not approached any other suitable forum available under the law for the same relief and also provided no justification for not doing so.

In his petition, Sh Rashid had argued that the real strength of Pakistan was that of those who lived overseas and that currently the numerical strength of overseas Pakistanis was around nine million.

He said that Overseas Pakistanis constitute the sixth largest population faction in the world. In 2021 alone, overseas Pakistanis sent remittances to the tune of US$33 billion.