Friday, June 18, 2021
ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi Thursday said that the final decision regarding the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in elections will be taken by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
According to a press release issued in this regard, the president was chairing a meeting of the sub-committee on emerging technologies in i-voting. He said government organisations would facilitate the ECP in executing the process of electoral reforms in a transparent manner.
President Alvi also called for addressing the reservations, raised by the ECP, regarding the amendment of the electoral laws. He emphasised that vote was a fundamental right of every citizen, and they could not be deprived of their basic right due to the weaknesses of the system.
The meeting was attended by Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication (IT&T) Syed Aminul Haq, Minister for Railways Azam Khan Swati, Secretary Ministry of IT&T Dr Muhammad Sohail Rajput, Acting Chairman NADRA Brig (retd) Khalid Latif, DG (IT) ECP Khizer Aziz, and other officials of the government.
Addressing the meeting, the president underlined the need for improving the existing electoral laws to enable about 9 million overseas Pakistanis to exercise their right to vote in line with the directions of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
He stressed the need for improving communication among the stakeholders concerned to address any misconceptions about i-voting for overseas Pakistanis. Referring to the Elections Act, 2017, Azam Khan Swati informed the meeting that 49 amendments were incorporated in the said Act with the consent of ECP and this time the relevant organisations should also support the ongoing reforms to ensure transparency and credibility of the electoral process.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday said electronic voting machines (EVMs) are the only option to prevent poll fraud and ensure transparency in the electoral process.
He was presiding over a briefing on the use of electronic voting machines in elections in the country, which was attended by Minister for Science and Technology Shibli Faraz, Leader of the House in Senate Dr Shehzad Wasim, Minister for Railways Azam Khan Swati, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib and Advisor to the Prime Minister Babar Awan.
The PM was given a detailed briefing on the progress made so far in the use of electronic voting machines and legislation regarding electoral reforms. He reiterated his commitment to ensure transparency in the use of electronic voting machines and to meet all constitutional requirements.
“Overseas Pakistanis are an asset to the country; they must be involved in the election process,” he added. The prime minister emphasised that electoral reforms, electronic voting, and the voting process for overseas Pakistanis should be completed soon.