Why elections reform essential for Pakistan sovereignty | By Aroosa Alam

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Why elections reform essential for Pakistan sovereignty


GOVERNMENT and opposition are logger heads now a days over the proposed Election Reforms.

Pakistan che quered history is full of post elections disasters, cries of election riggings by the loosing party, once led to the break up of Pakistan and often extra constitutional interventions, Fall OF Dhakka 1970 elections… It was a watershed moment in history of Pakistan and it broke Pakistan. The elections was a fierce contest between Awami League and PPP.

Awami League won 160 seats a clear majority, but it was denied its right to form government which resulted in large scale unrest.

In short Pakistan’s economic and social life came to a stand still an sowing the seeds of separation in the East unit of Pakistan.

In short if the mandate of people is not respected it can break the nations and this give rise to a great urge to have free and fair elections. Free and fair elections under the current political mayhem can only be held with Election Reforms.

Zia U Haq Martial Law
Following civil disobedience Zia deposed ZA Bhutto on 5th July 1977 and country plunged into eleven years of a non franchised rule by Zia, needless to say how Pakistan lost its sovereignty in those years without elected governments.

30 years after Zia s extremist legacy is still a great threat to Pakistan’s sovereignty. Pakistan looses precious lives evey day on Pak Afghan borders.

Pakistan Army has fought many wars which were not suppose be theirs. By overthrowing Bhutto he insulted the mandate of people of Pakistan. Sindh still resent center.

Ms Bhutto and Nawaz saga
History is testament. Post Zia ul Haq era elections were manipulated by both PPP and PML-N. How the infamous 8th Amendment was used with impu-nity.

Every elections was marred by riggings, the anger of loosing parties led to frustration, bad economic situation, shut down calls and weak national integrity system, Ms Bhutto was sacked twice so was Nawaz Sharif.

In the midst of this saga a new political culture came into being, corruption became hallmark of two major political parties.

Money is needed to buy votes to manipulate systems thus riggings, Every election left Pakistan polorised eco-nomically weak with hunger, disease and social injustices staring at the very fragile sovereignty of Pakistan.

PTI, PPP PML-N and Panama Leaks
Nawaz Shariff name never appeared in Panama Papers but three of his six children had bought lux-ury properties in London using offshore holdings, Nawaz was convicted, PPP Surrey Palace and dozen of corruption cases again put spot light on the fact
how vulnerable Pakistan’s electoral system is. It needs major over haul if Pakistan has to remain intact.

Electronic Machines
The proposed Election Reforms entail usage of Electronic Voting Machines. Obviously the ignorant opposition is opposing it with tooth and nail.

They have no knowledge how these machines work leav-ing zero chance of rigging, Neighbouring India which is called world’s largest democracy has been holding its National and State elections through EVMs for many years.

The latest proof of the fact that these machines are foolproof West Bengal elec-tions where BJPs arch rival Mamta Benerji was
electioned.

The bitter election campaigns was led by none other than PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah.

Ruling BJP would have won this make or break elections if machines were vulnerable. Infact these machines have improved India’s democracy.

The digital technology’s relevance and impact has often been debated is the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in the choice of political leaders.

Compared to a pencil-and-paper system, technology has tremendous potential to empower citizens, am-plify their voices, and allow citizens to hold gov-ernments accountable.

The efficiency and quick turnaround time observed with EVMs become particularly crucial when they are used for larger populations. Since paper ballot counting is not involved there is no room for frauds.

What are EVM’s? An EVM comprises of a control unit which is placed with the polling officer and a balloting unit which is placed inside the voting compartment.

The role of the polling officer is to release a ballot by pressing the ballot button on the control unit.

This will allow the voter to cast his vote by pressing the blue button on the balloting unit against the candidate and symbol of the voter’s choice.

Since 2001, the issue of unreliability of EVM’s has been raised many times but the election commission has ruled out any scope for manipulation of votes through EVM’s.

EVM’s run on normal battery and they do not re-quire electricity. An EVM can be used to record a maximum of 2,000 votes.

If an EVM stops working it is replaced with a new one and votes recorded until that time are safe in the memory of the control
unit.

The control unit can store the result in its memory until the data is deleted or cleared. Chang-ing of the paper roll is strictly prohibited at polling stations. The arrangement of names of candidates in the bal-lot paper is in alphabetical.

Order, first candidates from national political parties figure and then from other state registered parties.

EVM’s are given to the polling station in two stages of randomization by the EVM tracking software produced by the commission.

A technical experts committee of the Election Commission in collaboration with NADRA can play a major role in holding free and fair elections.

Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) also plays an imperative role in voting. VVPAT is an-other independent machine attached to the EVM which helps the voter verify the vote.

After casting the vote, a slip is printed which contains the serial number, name, and symbol of the candidate and is visible through a window for seven seconds.

Post this, the printed slip automatically falls in the sealed drop box of the VVPAT.
Voting by EVM’s will make the process simpler as one does not need to mark a ballot paper and put it in the ballot box.

In an EVM, the voter has to just press the blue button against the candidate and sym-bol of his choice and the vote gets recorded.The scope of invalid votes is eliminated which could not be possible in the paper ballot system.

The counting process is very quick and the result can be declared in hours instead of a day or days.

There is no need for printing millions of ballot papers. This leads to saving of money on account of paper, printing, transportation, storage and distribu-tion.

There are both audio and visual indications for the voter to be assured that his vote has been
recorded correctly.

As soon as a voter presses the blue button, the lamp against the symbol of his chosen candidate glows red and a long beep is heard.

 

 

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