islamabad - The Election Commission of Pakistan may face glitches in execution of the Result Transmission System on the polling day of July 25, as a significant number of the presiding officers have no knowledge about even the simple types of mobile applications, The Nation has learnt.

According to sources, some district election commissioners have approached the Election Commission of Pakistan through the provincial election commissioners to apprise the election body of the situation arising out of the inability of the presiding officers in using the smartphone application. The issue surfaced during training of the presiding officers in different districts, as many of them did not have smartphones. According to statistics, from a particular district in Punjab, 532 presiding officers were imparted training for two days during which it transpired that 152 (almost 29 percent of the presiding officers) did not have android mobile phones or the knowledge of using such an application either.

The data, from only two sessions, has put a question mark over the successful execution of Result Transmission System on the polling day. Moreover, according to the sources in the Election Commission of Pakistan, many of the participants who do own smartphones are not acquainted with even the simple mobile applications.

The district election commissioners have asked the ECP to resolve the issue to avoid any interruptions vis-a-vis Result Transmission System on July 25, the day set for general elections in the country. They have asked the election body to take tangible steps including provision of mobile phones to the polling staff with prior training for its use.

The ECP will use android-based mobile application called Results Transmission System in the general elections-2018.

According to the ECP, the commission had successfully tested the RTS through a pilot project in NA-4, Peshawar and PS-114, Karachi by-election last year where presiding officers entered polling results into the application along with the picture of FORM XIV by using the specialised mobile application which transmitted data to the ECP server in real-time.

The ECP had in collaboration with National Database Registration Authority (NADRA), Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and mobile phone operators has worked out the solution for transmission of the elections results in a transparent manner.

There are around 100,000 polling stations across Pakistan. In majority of the areas, 3G, 4G or GPRS connectivity is available except a few remote locations, according to the ECP officials. But even in far-flung locations, the presiding officers can find mobile data signals by travelling a few kilometres.

The commission has decided to give additional Rs 1000 each to all such presiding officers who will assist in transferring the election results to Election Commission of Pakistan through the RTS.  Earlier, there was a proposal to acquire 100,000 smart phones for this project but the idea was subsequently dropped because of financial constraints.