On May 26, 2022, Pakistan’s National Assembly passed a bill to abolish election reforms passed by the government of former prime minister Imran Khan that gave overseas Pakistanis the right to vote through the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs). On May 27, the Senate officially passed the elections (amendment) bill, reversing EVM use and, in turn, overseas voting.

The use of EVMs has been much debated in Pakistani politics over the past decade. The skills needed to operate the untested machines led the current government to reconsider its country-wide launch. However, some argue that these amendments are intended to deprive overseas Pakistanis from voting in the upcoming general elections. Questions thus loom about whether overseas voters will regain their right to vote, either through the use of EVMs or other more reliable mechanisms.

Please join the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center and the Muslim American Leadership Alliance (MALA) on Thursday, August 4 at 5:00 p.m. ET for an in-person conversation about the history, politicization, and future of overseas voting in Pakistan.

This event was recorded on Thursday, August 4.

To expand this conversation on “Should overseas Pakistanis have a vote in Pakistan?” the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center invites Patricio Ballados, an international electoral consultant based in Mexico City responsible for designing and implementing Mexico´s first overseas electoral process in 2006, to offer a perspective on how South Asian countries can effectively develop overseas voting facilities. 

This interview was recorded on August 17, 2022.  

Opening remarks


Dawood Ghazanavi
Supreme Court of Pakistan

Sahar Khan
Research Fellow
CATO Institute

Moderated by

Closing remarks

Zainab Zeb Khan

Kalid Loul

Maha Khan

The South Asia Center is the hub for the Atlantic Council’s analysis of the political, social, geographical, and cultural diversity of the region. ​At the intersection of South Asia and its geopolitics, SAC cultivates dialogue to shape policy and forge ties between the region and the global community.

This event is in partnership with the Muslim American Leadership Alliance (MALA), a civic and community organization committed to promoting individual freedom and diversity, and to celebrating Muslim American heritage.