It seems that the new façade adopted by the care taker setup, with ECP at the forefront, is that of complete oblivion to the glaring discrepancies and shortfalls of the upcoming election- one which has already split the polity into crying foul. In a stately gesture of administrative vigilance, the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) have overlooked and expressed their deep ‘satisfaction’ at the arrangements made for election day, placing a preemptory stamp of approval on a process that is anything but satisfactory.

The Result Transmission System (RTS) — a smartphone application which enables election officers to send the results to the ECP in real time, stands to be the pivotal tool in insuring a free and fair election and a crucial warranty during the current overwrought political climate. Where the flaws of the RTS program have already been flagged, publicized and reiterated, it seems that they remain unacknowledged by the overseeing bodies. Where the program is subject to a myriad of limitations ranging from technical glitches, unfulfilled requirements of a trained staff with access to a smartphone, an uninterrupted access to the internet and an inequitable access to the program and its prerequisites, it remains highly dubious that the team can tout an inflated efficiency of 90% across the country. It also leaves one to wonder how the entire balloting process is to be left hinging on the 10% probability that the program will definitely malfunction.

Yet the most egregious discrepancy-one that has not been acknowledged or addressed by the caretaker setup- remains the internet blackout of key districts of Balochistan. This calculated aberration which deems the program ineffectual in registering the real-time ballots cast in the province, and leaves the restive region without access to electoral information, social media or even a medium of communication, opens the voting process to legitimate concerns of engineering and rigging.

Where both the CEC and ECP should have been privy to the gaping shortfalls and discrepancies of the electoral process at large, the cursory approval leaves one to doubt the veracity and commitment of the entities in their mandated role in supervising the electoral process. Awarding a gold star to a glitchy and obfuscated process is highly problematic as it opens up the balloting procedure to inequity, tampering and political contriving. Where the RTS was peddled specifically to offset such an incongruity, it has become highly liable in doing the opposite and subverting the entire voting process- the outcome of which ultimately implicates a negligent caretaker government.