ISLAMABAD - The ruling alliance as well as opposition parties, especially those who have categorically stated that the prevalent electoral system is full of flaws, are showing complete indifference towards the electoral reforms process that was initiated by the parliament almost three years ago.

Chairman of the committee, Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar tabled the second interim report of the committee before the parliament during the last week of December, 2016 so that the parliamentarians could give their input on it within a period of 30 days.

Similarly, the report was also uploaded on the website with the aim to have public input, legal fraternity and other stakeholders in the period specified.

The proceedings of the 33-member Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms hit the snags from day one as after its formation in July 2014, one of the main opposition parties Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf launched its sit-in against alleged rigging in 2013 General Elections.

During this period the committee could not work properly.

Initially, the committee was asked to accomplish the task within three months but even after passage of almost three years the committee is still far from achieving its goal, a member of the committee commented. He said that the members of the committee still had differences over some of the crucial issues.

Sources in the parliament informed The Nation that the Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms was moving at a snail’s pace and it was unlikely it would accomplish the task before the next general elections.

They said that even after the passage of the proposed electoral reforms draft bill 2017 it would require several months to put it on ground.

These sources said that till now the committee could not decide on using the electronic voting machines in the elections, and even after several dozen meetings the sub-committee of the electoral reforms committee could not finalise matters on the issue.

The introduction of electronic voting machines in the elections would require a lot of finances and trained staff, which the Election Commission of Pakistan could not manage in a few months time.

Sources further said that the chances of holding of next general elections under new electoral laws, yet to be approved by the parliament seemed a far cry.

They said that the chances of passage of the electoral reforms laws from the parliament would not be possible before the budget session.

The only achievement on part of the committee was the 22nd Constitution Amendment that had changed the eligibility criteria of members of the ECP in May last as recommended by the committee on electoral reforms .

Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms was constituted under Rule 224(b) of Rules of Procedure and Conduct of National Assembly 2007 by the Parliament in June last but the committee was formally put in place by end July 2014 under the chairmanship of Federal Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar, the most trusted fellow of Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif.

The 33-member committee faced its first setback when Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf members of the committee boycotted its proceedings following their resignations from the National Assembly and had hardly participated in any of its working session.

But even after the boycott of the PTI MPs, chairman of the committee Ishaq Dar had expressed his resolve to accomplish the task within three-month time but now almost double the time has passed and the committee seems nowhere on ground what to speak of accomplishing the task assigned to it.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, which wanted to see the task assigned to the 33-member committee accomplished within a month, is now mum over the undue delay.