ISLAMABAD - Former Senate chairman and Pakistan People’s Party Senator Mian Raza Rabbani said that Internet voting system was completely flawed and was a tool to manipulate elections in the country.

The statement of senior PPP leader came at a time when Election Commission of Pakistan in compliance with the orders of Supreme Court is going to extend the I-voting facility to overseas Pakistanis in the upcoming by-elections scheduled to be held on October 14.

“The I-voting system being put into place is flawed from its inception and has ingredients of becoming a tool in the hands of forces that may want to manipulate elections in Pakistan, Raza Rabbani said in a statement on Wednesday.

He said that the ECP Task Force itself had shown reservations on the system. It is correct that I-voting is in place in other countries as well but none of those countries like Pakistan have such a large number of voters abroad, nearly 6 millions, he said. He showed his concerns that if the system was hacked, it could alter the election results.

The fact that ECP and National Database and Registration Authority could not run Result Transmission System creates serious doubts that the I-voting system can be subject to cyber crime and manipulation, he opined.

Rabbani said that a large number of Pakistanis living in Middle East would be excluded from this process because they have no email addresses. He stressed that there was no method to ensure that an online person was freely using his or her right of vote and was not being coerced by someone. “The system also doesn’t provide for secrecy of the vote which is a violation of section 94 of Elections Act 2017 and Article 226 of the Constitution”, he concluded.