Dr Arif Alvi has submitted a letter to the Parliamentary Electoral Reforms Committee on the slow progress on four issues. He has said that the ECP and NADRA are using delaying tactics and if the progress remains the same PTI feels that the 2018 elections may not be any better than the elections held in 2013 or the recently concluded Local Bodies Elections. The text of the letter is as follows:
Mr Zahid Hamid,
Sub: Committee of Parliamentary Electoral Reforms Committee
I would like to present my serious reservations, and that of my party regarding very slow progress on the following four issues.
- On voting of Overseas Pakistanis, on behalf of the party I filed a petition in the Supreme Court in 2010 on which the honorable court directed the ECP to ensure that it is ensured. Every Prime Minister and President who has visited overseas since the late 90’s has made this promise to the O/Pakistanis but no progress has taken place. The Election Commission has continuously delayed this matter because of its incompetence and lack of interest. In the last meeting we found out that this matter which was sent to the UNDP for consultancy has 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.
- On Electronic Voting Machines, we found in the last meeting that ECP had not made any progress on the decision that the specifications of the machines which were read out and decided more than two months ago. These machines first have to be made 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.
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.
Dr Arif Alvi MNA
Member Parliamentary Electoral Reforms Committee