ISLAMABAD: Pakistan goes to poll to elect new leader of the country days after former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (retd) Muhammad Safdar were jailed after being convicted in a corruption reference.
An accountability court sentenced Nawaz Sharif to 10 years imprisonment, Maryam Nawaz seven years and Safar one year.
While millions of voters are expected to use their right to franchise on July 25, it is still unclear whether Nawaz Sharif and thousands of other inmates being kept in jails across the country would cast their votes.
According to former Inspector General Prisons, Nusrat Mangan, prisoners do have the right to cast ballots as per jail manual .
He says the prisoners can request the concerned Presiding Officer through jail authorities to provide them with ballot paper and after exercising their right can send it back in a sealed envelope.
These arrangements, he says , should be finalized a week before the election.
But, the Election Commission of Pakistan seems to have failed to make such arrangements.
The prisoners were also not facilitated to cast their vote in 2013. Mangan says only 10 prisoner exercised their right in Sindh during General Election of 2008.
As many as 49,000 prisoners are being kept in jails across Punjab, 19000 in Sindh, 10050 in Khyber Paktunkhwa and 2100 in Balochistan.
Hundreds of female inmates are also languishing in prisons across the country.