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> PILDAT made party to the Voters List Case
   
 

August 10, 2007
Islamabad

   

Islamabad, August 10; The Supreme Court bench headed by the Chief Justice, Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry accepted the application of Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development And Transparency (PILDAT) argued by its counsel Barrister Syed Ali Zafar and Mr. Abid Aziz to become a party to the petition filed by the PPP Chairperson regarding approximately 28 Million missing voters in the new list. The Supreme Court directed all parties including the counsels of PILDAT, PPP Chairperson and Attorney General to hold a meeting with the Chief Election Commissioner and other officials of the Election Commission on Saturday, August 11, 2007 at 1 pm to agree on a speedy and effective plan of action to register the missing voters. The Court rejected the time table stretching over 140 days proposed by the Election Commission and observed that the job can be completed in 30 days. The Court fixed August 16 as the date for the next hearing.

 
 

Barrister Syed Ali Zafar submitted that PILDAT is a body which is impartial and concerned with ensuring that the electoral process is accurate and dispute free and accordingly in its application has reiterated that all missing voters which number around 28 million should be included in the fresh computerised electoral rolls.

 
 

In the application filed through Shahid Hamid, Syed Ali Zafar and Mr. Abid Aziz Barristers, PILDAT has suggested the following implementations points:

  1. ECP should amalgamate and merge NADRA database of over 56 Million Computerised National Identification Cards (CNICs) with the Preliminary Electoral Rolls prepared by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). This will have an immediate impact of increasing the voters list to the 80 Million mark which is a more realistic and legitimate figure.

  2. ECP should also compare the preliminary electoral rolls which now contain over 55 Million voters with the 2002 Electoral Rolls which contained about 72 Million Voters and focus on registering those voters who were a part of 2002 list but have been omitted in the latest preliminary rolls without any valid reason.

  3. The process of issuing CNICs and registration of new voters should be integrated and made simultaneous to save duplication of effort both on the part of citizens and state institutions.

  4. PILDAT has also proposed that at least for the next 3 months, the CNICs should be issued free of charge to encourage registration.

  5. NADRA and Government of Pakistan should undertake massive awareness campaign and deploy all resources to issue CNICs to the maximum possible citizens especially women who constitute just 37 % of the total CNICs issued and 39 % of the preliminary electoral rolls.

 
 

PILDAT will be represented by its Executive Director, Ahmed Bilal Mehboob in the meeting with the Chief Election Commissioner on Saturday, August 11, 2007.