A controversial election now has a ‘’judicial commission’’ working under the guidance of Chief Justice Supreme Court of Pakistan to testify the legitimacy of the General Election 2013.
A Pandora box of claims for rigging carried out in the election now the relevant video clips & documentary evidences to testify the inaccuracies or rigging if had been attempted. Supportive papers are being submitted by 26 stalwarts i.e. Politicians and individuals to nullify the election.
Avoidance of introducing and implementing ‘’Bio-metric voting system’’& insistence to conduct By-Election in NA 246 under the supervision of Rangers and Pakistan Army deploying heavy contingent of police & paramilitary forces at 213 polling stations and 770 polling booths covering the polling process under heavy surveillance of CCTV cameras, a precautionary measures have been taken by the authorities.
Authorities however have already directed deployment of Rangers personnel ‘’in and outside the polling stations’’ to curb fraud or unfair bidding to thwart during the all-important elections.
A traditional & outdated ''Electoral system'' which Pakistan still upholding despite its independence 69 years ago but our political leadership are very much sticky to keep the ancestral beaten path continue and don’t even think to adapt the technology oriented voting system. Though the nation still has not come out of the claims for enormous rigging - charges for using unfair means - bullying & cheating & tampering election results etc.
How smart, rational and prudent our leadership when talk for ELECTION - Really a matter of cognizance?
We are buying technologies and investing multi-billions on motor ways & other infrastructures, paying huge sum against circular debit outstanding, minting currency for maintaining the strength of foreign exchange reserves, taking loans from internal and external banks and overseas lending agencies but not thinking about BIO-METRIC SYSTEM to poll the votes.
A basic instrument for a democratic state to elect its representative through legitimate vote casting ensuring a fair, free & transparent election, a golden word enshrined in the constitutional book of Pakistan.
A general demand of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) & Jamat-Islami (JI) contestants combating the election whereas Mutahadda Qaumi Movement (MQM) is silent and has no preference. Even though the arrangements have been made by ECP and watchdog has been alerted to closely monitor the polling however illegal & invalid activity cannot be ruled out.
Further, PTI leader Jahangir Tareen also said it is the responsibility of the ECP to ensure that free and fair elections are held in the country.
With aforesaid steps does it look a viable strategy to carry out By-election & Cantonment Board election being held in Karachi on 23rd & 25th April 2015 respectively?
Does it guarantee that the result of these election will be acceptable to every contestant combating election?
How the forces involved in current By-election would convince & ensure that election was genuine, fair & transparent, unbiased & undisputed, uncontroversial and not suspicious, and uncompromising while the same watchdog had been installed in 2013 General election?
How ECP itself will advocate that the election went safe and sound & not repeated the incident eclipsed in 2013 Election?
Why ECP inviting new confrontation & waiting for one more judicial commission if NA 246 result goes compromised and (any of them) PTI – JI & MQM the warring parties don’t accept their defeat?
Why don’t ECP believe and invest energy, time and resources to impregnate the current electoral process with advance technology. Equipping the whole voting system through electronically handled apparatus instead to put orthodox practices i.e. ‘’pen pencil, printed ballot paper and ballot boxes, ink and stamp pad & carrying material through normal transport’’? All such arrangement attracts corruption leads to corrupt the Election.
Is it a rocket science or ECP is incompetent & powerless to bring effective & distinctive changes in existing election system?
If ECP an independent entity & sole responsible then why “ELECTORAL REFORM’’ is not taken seriously?
The nation heard that PML-N had formed a committee getting approved through parliamentarians to prepare feasibility report, administrative & technical analyses, merit and demerits of conventional & Bio-metric electoral system, debate in the assembly also continued, print and electronic media focused but what happened next?
What are the barriers in implementing the technology oriented voting process and system generated result instead individual involvement tampering the result.
This is crying need of the day to work on Bio-metric verification system to squeeze the widening gap in existing voting methodology & practices. Needs to revamp and revolutionize the whole voting criteria on war like basis to get rid of prolong disputes to verifying the finger prints, individual identity, genuineness of ID cards, tussle of magnetic ink and temporary ink, fake printing Ballot papers & manufacturing unauthorized Ballot boxes?
Why don’t we treat N 246 election a live test example if we put ‘’BIO-METRIC VOTING SYSTEM’’ - Vote polling through electronic devices so that the nation can get a clean and uncontroversial path to go for upcoming General Election in the country?
Again - Will the result of NA 246 be acceptable to political die hard contesting the election and there will be no more agitation & Sit-In, allegation and counter allegation, joint session in the assembly as PTI along with other political pundits had grave concern over the sanctity of General Election 2013. We are aware that ECP still engaged since 2 years & handling the election disputes.
Role of Provincial Govt. & Legislature sitting in National assembly are arrogant & vain, conceited & pompous & for their satisfaction they have increased the personnel of law enforcement agencies, smug to cover polling booth and polling process by augmenting number of CCTV cameras but will it be a conducive and fool proof security - a big question?
Really very unfortunate & astounding to see the short-shortsightedness, indiscretion and imprudence not conceiving the most essential need of Bio-metric/ E-voting system in Pakistan - Does it not lead to the non-seriousness of the current political leadership who did not make any policy decision to do the required structural changes in existing ‘’Electoral reform’’ except a baseless assertion & hollow commitment?
It looks like a time-pass or waiting to complete the tenure or more precisely the political leadership looking us a deaf & dumb, immature & insincere - treating the most wanted ‘’ Electoral Reform’’ as unimportant factor adding no value addition in country’s party and politics.
The confused politicians are happy to keep the pen and pencil, stamps and ink-pad, printed ballot papers & ballot boxes - keeping voting system ‘’as is and where is basis & don’t want to automate Electoral system in the country’’
Reliance on orthodox ideas and method - a doctrinaire to live deliberately in old structure - before them 4 Chief Minsters, 4 Provinces & 4 Governors are sufficient to rule 200 million people with the only motive to keep the political array spiral among their family, tribes and groups so that they always can have tight grips in politics & this is the reason they don’t think out of box, said a political analyst.
Such absolute position in the country were valid when Pakistan had a populace of 30 million people in 1947-50 but now the election has been a mega task therefore induction of information technology been imperative with no second opinion.
What a mockery that leadership prefers to go and unearth the rigging claims by the defeated candidates and invest lot of money and energy appointing additional services of govt. functionaries such as NADRA, Election commission of Pakistan, services of High Courts and Supreme courts (across the country) to find out the irregularity, fraud & illegal polling but not inclined to equip the polling process with advanced technology to avoid of such hassle which is of course the aftermath of conventional polling process.
We are in threshold of 21st century but living in era of 60s. not making Election as trustworthy instrument a basic need of democracy and election as its first ladder are concomitant unequivocally.
But it is unfortunate that despite lapse of two years for the election held in 2013 the management of ECP & NADRA are busy screening & scrutinizing, counting and recounting the polled votes & eventually preparing report for the courts to prove if the poll had been rigged.
Opening of multiple cases and claims followed with different groups litigated through the court of law for fraud happened in myriad constituencies are the best example to understand that conventional method of election is not practical in Pakistan and we need a Bio-metric polling system in place a valid vivid demand if we are a democratic republic state.
We are not hesitant to say that 2013 General election brought lot of queries in terms of rigging in Pakistan that's made not only aghast to the political leaders but put them in fierce criticism who fought election and associated their defeat with heavy fraud and forgeries and some termed it as mother of massive rigging in the history of Pakistan.
Earlier PTI were alleging for what they agitated and did 126 days Sit-in in Islamabad demanding PML-N premier Nawaz Sharif to resign and constitute a judicial commission the latter has been formed while the former could not oblige supported by the parliamentarians who favored the premier to save the democracy and parliament intact. A month long debate remained continued in joint session in National assembly.
Therefore Bio-metric system for vote polling should immediately be installed in the country to make the election free, fair and transparent that will not save the people but will be a panacea for the govt. authority to enjoy with clean voting system.
A well-planned and productive Electoral Reform - It’s a onetime exercise – of course will save the administrative expenses as the govt. doing extra expenses for deputing 7300 policemen - cost of 358,500 ballot papers printing for NA 246 for the registered voters 353,700 - Pakistan Army and Rangers have been assigned to deliver ballot papers to the designated destinations, press reported.
Undoubtedly these are the extra cost if we introduce and implement ''electronically voting system'' we can curb over rising expense which is incurred on conventional voting system than technology oriented voting apparatus.