ISLAMABAD, Nov 20 (APP): President Dr Arif Alvi Friday said with digital identification already in place, Pakistan would ensure holding fair election in 2023 using technological options like e-voting to reform electoral process and do away with post-poll controversies.
The president, in an interview with a private television channel (Aaj News), said the previous governments could not fulfill expatriates’ demand for voting rights for having no e-voting mechanism in the country.
Recounting his efforts for e-voting and e-voting machines and biometrics identification, the president said the biometrics voting had already been experimented with encouraging results.
He said NADRA had also addressed some shortcomings faced during the biometrics experiment for smooth functioning in the future.
He said at first stage the digital identification would verify the actual voter. However regarding the vote casting process, there were some reservations on the voting machine.
Other method, also being used in the West, was to stamp the ballot paper and put on scanner before putting in the ballot box.
In this system, he said the scanner would keep counting the votes in real time and the paper ballot would also be there for physical verification.
The president hoped that instead of importing, Pakistan would manufacture the voting machines for required 300,000 polling booths.
He opined that after deciding the use of a certain electronic voting machine, the matter must be debated in the parliament which would also lead to a political consensus.
He said Prime Minister Imran Khan had asked him to accelerate the process to settle the matter of electoral reforms, in what the president committed that all such securities would be in place by 2023.
Referring to the second wave of COVID-19, the president advised the people not to give up wearing mask and also urged the opposition parties to put off their protests till the downturn of the coronavirus.
He said the disease did not discriminate any poor or rich as it had affected the chief ministers and chief justice, so it required collective efforts to keep up the success of Pakistan had achieved.
To a question, he said though he was individually discussing the matter with Ulema, he would be in better position to stress the religious circles for adhering to precautions if the politicians and businessmen too showed discipline.
Criticizing the tendency of roads closure during the protest demonstrations, the president said it required a social training as the Holy Prophet’s teachings also strictly forbade any such action of blocking the passage.
Responding to a sub judice case of attack on PTV building during the PTI sit-in, the president said he had not availed the presidential immunity. Rather he had asked his lawyer to tell the same to court for a decision in the case.