Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain and Advisor to Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Dr Babar Awan Monday said the introduction of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and I-voting are revolutionary steps of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government as use of technology was essential for bringing transparency in the electoral process.
Addressing the meeting of Cabinet Committee on EVMs and I-Voting, they said after a long struggle, the government has presented a solution to make the electoral process transparent.
Fawad said the losing parties never accept their defeat by questioning the authenticity of election results. The losers in every election except the 1970s had levelled rigging allegations, he added. Making the polling process fair and transparent, he said, was the topmost priority of PTI government and the use of technology was imperative to achieve the desired results. The introduction of EVMs and I-voting were revolutionary steps in that regard, the minister added. Fawad said the government would launch a media campaign to sensitize the public about the use of EVMs in the elections.
Speaking during the meeting, Advisor Dr Babar Awan said after tireless efforts, the solution of bringing transparency in electoral process had been presented before the countrymen. “As a result of the hard work of COMSATS and other institutions, today we are going to take a revolutionary step of introducing electronic voting machines,” he said.
The use of EVMs in elections in neighbouring India, with population five times more than Pakistan’s, was an accepted norm, he added.
Awan said objections were raised in raised in every election as the defeated parties never admitted their defeat. He said as the next general election was due in about two years, the PTI government was taking important steps to address the challenge of making the polling process transparent. He said earlier the use of direct technology with reference to the EVMs was allowed but the Election Commission was not still ready to adopt it.
The Cabinet Committee on EVM and I-Voting considered the Federal Cabinet’s decision to finalize the EVMs to be used in next election. It was decided that NADRA would give a briefing to the committee on I-voting, he added.
The committee, he said, would also get a briefing on the steps taken in the light of the report of consultant of the Ministry of Information Technology as well as the upgrading of NADRA systems. Moreover, he said, the Ministry of Science and Technology would convene a special meeting of the committee during the current week to finalize the EVM.