Govt welcomes discussion on electoral reforms with Opp: Fawad

By: News Desk      Published: 06:38 PM, 28 Sep, 2021
Govt welcomes discussion on electoral reforms with Opp: Fawad

Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry has said that the government welcomes the opposition's readiness to discuss electoral reforms but this discussion should not be to waste the time, reported 24News HD TV channel on Tuesday. 

Addressing a press conference after the federal cabinet meeting in Islamabad, the minister said the committee, formed to discuss the issue of the electoral reform, should move in the right direction to resolve the matter and not waste time, adding that this issue should be concluded now. 

Fawad Chaudhary said the electronic voting machines (EVMs) and i-voting were a crucial part of the reforms, adding that if we exclude overseas Pakistanis from the voting process, it would be an injustice. 

During the cabinet meeting, Chaudhary said the PM had directed Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan, Advisor to PM on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan, and others to discuss EVMs and i-voting with the Opposition.

“Majority of the conflicts arise during the vote count after the election. The government had shared a study of the Philippines’ election 2007 with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), where 300 officials had died in conflicts when the final count came in. This happened when the Philippines did not use EVMs,” told the information minister. 

In the past, no government has ever focused on electoral reforms and it is the PTI-led government that is trying to bring reforms in the electoral process. He said that the government had imported 20 machines and they could be used in upcoming elections.

Fawad Chaudhary said the government would bring the discussion on electoral reforms to the agenda of a joint session of the parliament. 

The minister told that a cabinet committee had been formed to look into the matter of high-rise buildings in cities as the government, despite its best efforts, could not pursue people to construct high-rise buildings to cater to the horizontal spread of the cities. 

Earlier, the federal cabinet approved visas on arrival for 15 countries. The cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan was held in Islamabad. According to the sources, the meeting held detailed deliberations on the aviation policy and formed a committee in this regard too. 

The sources said that the cabinet meeting approved the decisions made by the economic coordination committee (ECC). However, the meeting could not decide the fate regarding the privatization of Services International Hotel.