LAHORE -  ATIF PERVAIZ -

Of the 27 tribunals set up by the Election Commission of Pakistan to decide petitions against irregularities in the May 11 elections, none has so far approached the Nadra for the verification of thumb impressions, the Authority Chairman Tariq Malik said on Monday.

Talking to WaqtNews, he said the Nadra had the capability to verify the thumb impressions and the use of this facility would enhance people’s confidence in the Election Commission.

In response to a question, Tariq Malik said electronic voting could make the electoral process more transparent and credible.  If the government decided to switch over to the electronic voting in the local elections, Nadra would be in a position to prepare the lists in just six months.

The local elections across the country are overdue and parties in power in provinces say they will complete the process before the year is out.

The Nadra chairman answered in the negative when asked if the government had released Rs 90 million the prime minister had ordered for the Authority to prepare a system for the verification of thumb impressions.

Nadra, he said, had introduced smart cards which had many security features and were liked by the people.

He said he would advise the government that instead of issuing birth certificates of children, the newborns should be given small cards which carry their vaccination data. Responding to a question, Tariq Malik said AJK and GB election commissions have approached Nadra for the preparation of voter lists. The two states plan to go for electronic voting, enabling the overseas Pakistanis to cast their votes.

The Nadra chairman also met TheNation and Nawa-i-Waqt Editor in Chief Majid Nizami.