ISLAMABAD (APP) - Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is considering representation of middle class as well as expatriate Pakistanis to the Parliament and pasting pictures on voters lists. Unveiling the revolutionary five-year (2010-14) Strategic Plan, Secretary Election Commission Ishtiak Ahmed Khan informed mediapersons that the ECP was thinking on these proposals floated by various stakeholders. We are studying the proposal that 25 per cent seats in the Parliament and the Provincial Assemblies be allocated for the middle class people having monthly income upto Rs 25,000, he said, replying to a question about ECPs role in political evolution in the country. There is another proposal to paste the pictures of voters on the electoral rolls to avoid duplicity or fake vote cast. But, such lists would only rest with the electoral staff, he added. Answering another question about right to vote to expatriate Pakistanis, Khan said, as it would be too difficult to lay down a procedure for 5.5 million expatriates to directly vote in election. Therefore, the ECP is considering the method of proportionate representation for overseas Pakistanis. We are also looking into their nationality status as they fall in three categories. To another query about Electronic Voting Machine, he said, process is on and after couple of days, the ECP shall be getting a briefing from a firm on this issue. About findings of PAC regarding stated misuse of funds, the Secretary said, the money was not misused rather it was paid to a company to remove anomalies from electoral rolls, who could not deliver well in time. However, we are working on error-free electoral rolls in collaboration with NADRA. We are also counter checking at two three levels. On the subject of delimitation, he said, the ECP has the powers to do so. Even the Commission can take suo moto notice if any issue of delimitation arises anywhere. He categorically stated, the ECP is working without any pressure although there were certain enforcement problems regarding influencing voters at local level as well as complaints of polling station rigging. On the issue of fake degrees, the Secretary ECP said, the provision of graduation was incorporated through Election Order 2002 but in 2008 this condition has been removed. But, during this time if anybody has submitted fake degree, there are courts to ascertain either the degrees were original or fake. We are provided with a specified laws regarding election schedule and we cannot go beyond. In that case, it is not possible for a Returning Officer to get the degrees of the candidates verified, within couple of days, as he had to stick to schedule. Now, after the 18th Amendment, it is clear that any person whose degree is challenged should have a certification from a court, he said, even if a court declares the degree of a candidate as fake, the Commission cannot take action unless a reference is sent to it by the Chairman Senate, the Speaker National Assembly as well as the Speakers of the Provincial Assemblies, in that particular case. Even after, a reference is sent to the CEC, he cannot decide on it by himself, rather he has to convene the meeting of ECP to decide the matter, he further stated. Earlier, in his opening remarks, he described the plan as a historic document and hoped, it will give a new vision and approach to the ECP for confidence building as well as ensuring free, fair and transparent elections. It is a consensus document with the input of stakeholders, experts and political parties and a way forward to make the ECP more autonomous and ensuring error free polls, he said. Elaborating the 15 Strategic Goals he mentioned to legal framework; registration of voters/electoral rolls; election operations; election complaints/dispute resolution; restructuring of the ECP; infrastructure, logistics and equipment; human resources; finance and budget; training, research and evaluation; information technology; public outreach - civil society, political parties and media; political parties and candidates; civic/voters education; marginalized groups; and image of the ECP as these goals. He said 129 objectives have also been identified during the six-month long marathon deliberation on preparation of goals that will be implemented during next five years with the cost of approximately Rs eight to ten billion. Some eight to ten laws shall also have to be amended to implement these goals. He said there is room for improving rules to prepare error free rolls, disputes resolution, enhancing capacity of electoral staff, education of voters and restoring confidence of voters. Ishtiak Khan said the volume of female employees shall be increased from present one per cent to ten per cent with five per cent quota for minorities and two per cent for disabled. He underlined the importance of financial autonomy and said, at present the ECP enjoys autonomy in certain affairs. But, it needs more financial autonomy as well as powers to create posts for which it has sent a summary to the government. He said at present the voters turn out is 42 per cent that we hope to increase to 63 per cent in upcoming LG elections. The Secretary ECP reiterated to keep the process open to stakeholders and sought help and guidance from the media in highlighting the issue that could improve the electoral process.