ISLAMABAD - As the process of registration of over 700,000 overseas Pakistanis to cast their votes for the first time thorough I-voting in the by-elections has already started, Pakistan People’s Party Monday opposed the voting system for overseas Pakistanis.
“What is guarantee that the I-Voting system could not be hacked? This could also become a source of rigging in the future general elections”, former Senate Chairman and PPP Mian Raza Rabbani said while taking part in the discussion on the alleged rigging in general elections held in July.
Raza Rabbani expressed concerns on the secrecy and sanctity of the procedure being adopted for I-voting.
He said that the PPP was not opposed to voting right to overseas Pakistan but the voting system was not correct. He was of the view that preparations were being made for rigging of the next general elections. He asked that how the Pakistanis in Middle East would vote if they don’t have cyber account.
On this Deputy Chairman Salim Mandviwalla who chaired the Monday session remarked that the parliament had made the Election Act, which could be reviewed again.
Earlier, opening discussion on the failure of Result Transmission System (RTS) and Result Management System on the Election Day, Senator Abbasi said a parliamentary commission should be formed to probe rigging allegations in the General Election.
The Senate began discussion today on an adjournment motion moved by Muhammad Javed Abbasi regarding the issue of rigging in recently held general election.
Senator Abbasi said a parliamentary commission should be formed to probe rigging allegations in the General Election. He said the Election Commission totally failed to hold free, fair and transparent election. He said there were no signatures of polling agents on Form-45 in 117 constituencies while margin between rejected votes and winning number was very thin in forty-nine constituencies across the country.
Senator Javed Abbasi said ECP made tall claims about the efficiency of Result Transmission System (RTS) and Result Management System but they badly failed on the Election Day.
Hasil Bizinjo said pre-poll rigging was carried out for which media and other people were used and political parties were maligned. He said a parliamentary committee should be constituted to probe this issue thoroughly.
Sardar Azam Khan Musakhel said democracy cannot be strengthened through rigged elections. Ghaus Niazi said there were complaints of shortage of Form-45 at various polling stations. Asad Ali Khan Junejo said it was a question mark on the performance of NADRA, ECP and internet service providers in ensuring functionality of RTS and RMS.
He also demanded constitution of a parliamentary committee to probe failure of RTS and the ECP in holding free, fair and transparent election. Tahir Bizinjo said it seemed that the entire system, including ECP and the caretakers had gone under deep slumber on the Election Day. He said controversial elections lead to political uncertainty. Ateeq Shaikh said steps should be taken to make the election process credible.
Rehman Malik endorsed the demand for constitution of a parliamentary commission to probe allegations of rigging in last general elections. Sherry Rehman said all the political parties are unanimous that massive rigging was carried out in last general election.
Rana Maqbool said ECP is not ready to take responsibility of rigging and such approach cannot benefit Pakistan. Mushahidullah Khan said elections were rigged to keep PML-N out of power. Mohsin Aziz of PTI rejected rigging allegations from the opposition parties. He said the people have voted for PTI due to its message and manifesto.
Faisal Javed of PTI said PTI had open heartedly offered that it will not bring any hindrance in the way of probing election rigging. Quratulain Marri said all kinds of rigging from pre-poll, polling day and post-poll was carried out to ensure victory of a particular party.
Azam Khan Swati of PTI said NADRA and ECP should sit together to investigate why RTS went dysfunctional. He said a forensic audit is necessary to dig out the truth. Chaudhry Sarwar from treasury benches said it seems strange that PPP and PML-N complaint of rigging in areas where PTI is leading, while regions where there opposition parties have won, they see no rigging.
He said no evidence has yet been forwarded proving that any organized attempt was made to lead PTI to the victory stand. He said PTI has no objection on having any kind of investigation regarding allegations of rigging.
Governor-designate of Punjab Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar urged parliamentarians to work for betterment of the people by rising above their party affiliations.
Delivering his farewell speech in the Upper House,Chaudhry Sarwar said politics is about people we represent and not to grab power and personal gains. He is likely to resign from the senate seat and take oath of the office of Punjab Governor after casting vote in the presidential election today.