ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) yesterday showed its serious reservations on the performance of the Electoral Reforms Committee regarding the right of vote to overseas Pakistanis and electronic voting.
PTI MNA Dr Arif Alvi in a letter written to Chairman Committee PML-N MNA and Federal Minister Zahid Hamid showed his party’s reservations on these issues.
“On voting of overseas Pakistanis, on behalf of the party I filed a petition in the Supreme Court in 2010 on which the court directed the ECP to ensure right of vote to overseas Pakistan. The Election Commission has continuously delayed this matter because of its incompetence and lack of interest,” the letter said, adding that in the last meeting, the members of the committee found out that this matter, which was sent to the UNDP for consultancy, had not made any progress since two months.
This information was given only when we questioned them on progress. Previously it took one year even to come to the conclusions that I had drawn in my paper submitted to the ECP and this committee a year ago that physical and postal voting cannot take place.
The letter said that on electronic voting machines, the members found in the last meeting that ECP had not made any progress about the specifications of the machines. These machines first have to be manufactured then tested and the time is running out to implement the process in 2018.
On biometric verification again, because of foot-dragging by NADRA the process is still in its infancy not because the process has difficulties but it took us a year to try and safeguard NADRA data. The issue should have made far more progress on the NADRA side.
“We have scraped through the local bodies elections that showed total lack of control of ECP. My party is convinced that whatever laws we make the ECP is not in a position to implement them and the gross violations we saw will continue in 2018. “I believe very strongly that the Parliamentary Electoral Reforms Committee has not yet looked at this issue in a convincing manner,” Dr Alvi said.
My party believes very strongly that the entire process of electoral reforms may become an eyewash if the above four reservations are not addressed urgently, the letter concluded.