ISLAMABAD - The parties across the political divide voiced a mixed reaction over involving a foreign NGO in computerization of electoral rolls, with the treasury including coalition partners found no harm if only technical expertise is used but the opposition party stressed to use local expertise in this important matter.

The members of PPP and its coalition partners including MQM and PML-Q expressed their views that if the foreign NGO is being involved in computerization of electoral rolls then privacy of the data must be ensured in it.

While, main opposition party - PML-N - foresees some technical hitches if foreign NGO is involved in the country’s important matter. “The expertise of country’s experts could be used for computerization of electoral rolls,” said Ahsan Iqbal, Secretary Information PML-N, while talking to TheNation here on Sunday.

He said that political parties especially opposition forces could also be taken into confidence in all this process. “It is important to note here that who is handling main programming in it,” he said, replying to a query regarding Election Commission’s move to involve a foreign NGO in computerization of electoral rolls.

Whereas, PPP’s Secretary Information Qamar Zaman Kaira said that if technical expertise of a foreign NGO is being involved in computerization of electoral rolls then privacy of data must be ensured in it.

“After seeing all pros and cons the foreign NGO would be involved in the program,” he maintained.

Commenting on it, MQM spokesman Wasay Jalil said that electoral reforms are beneficial for all political parties it should be seen positively.

“Privacy must be ensured before taking any step in this regard,” he also ruled out the possibility of involving any foreign NGO without ensuring privacy of the country’s data.

When contacted, PML-Q senior legislator Riaz Fatiyana was of the view that there was no harm in taking technical expertise of a foreign NGO in computerization process of electoral rolls.

“There are lot of mistakes in voter lists which need to be correct. There is no harm in seeking help of foreign NGO if the electoral rolls be computerized without any mistake,” he added.

“We should not be afraid of privacy breach as this no more issue to find detail of any person,” he added.

Having almost same reaction on it, a senior leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) Shafqat Mehmood said that there was no harm in taking technical advice from a foreign NGO. “But, the data entry process should not be handed over to the foreign NGO,” he added.

It is relevant to mention here that the Interior Ministry has reportedly opposed the involvement of a foreign NGO in the project for Comuterization of Electoral Roll System (CERS). The Prime Minister’s Secretariat in May 2010 had reportedly sought views of the ministries of interior in this matter.