Over 2,000 journalists working in Islamabad and Rawalpindi will not be able to vote because of duties on May 11.
The journalists have demanded that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) devise a swift strategy to facilitate them to vote in their respective constituencies.
Many journalists will be on duty on May 11 to report news promptly.
Unfortunately the ECP has no system to ensure that journalists can exercise their voting rights.
Journalist Zaghum Abbas Naqvi from Sargodha said that unlike journalists, government employees have been facilitated for voting through ballot papers.
Hafiz Nasir, another journalist from Raheem Yaar Khan said that the ECP through advertisements, seminars and conferences educated people about their vote’s importance for improving the country’s conditions. However, he also regretted that the ECP paid no heed to the journalists’ voting woes.
President Rawalpindi and Islamabad Union of Journalists Waqar Satti said that it was the ECP’s responsibility to install a system through which media employees could vote.
He urged the ECP to take immediate action in this regard.
ECP Spokesman Khursheed Alam said that under law, there was no system for journalists or other private employees to cast their vote. We need to amend laws enabling such people to vote, but it is not possible at this stage, he added.
Barrister Afzal Hussain said that the parliament had been dissolved and now only the President of Pakistan could promulgate an ordinance to counter the issue.
He maintained that journalists sacrificed a lot for the democracy in Pakistan by and they should be facilitated in voting.
Afzal requested the President to promulgate an ordinance to resolve the problem. – See more at: http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2013/05/08/city/islamabad/journalists-deprived-of-voting-rights/#sthash.zpt39u2Q.dpuf