EVMs bill to be tabled in joint sitting tomorrow: Rashid

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EVMs bill to be tabled in joint sitting tomorrow: Rashid

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad Monday said all coalition government partners were unanimous to pass the electoral reforms bill, which would be tabled in a joint sitting of the Parliament on Wednesday.

“All the coalition partners including Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PMLQ), Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) have agreed on the bills [related to EVMs and I-voting] to be tabled in the joint session of the Parliament,” he said while talking to the media after a meeting here at the Prime Minister’s House.

The minister said it was the dream of Prime Minister Imran Khan to introduce electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the elections as it would ensure transparency and resolve the issue of mistrust in the electoral system.

Sh Rashid said Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, Minister for Science and Technology Shibli Faraz, and Advisor to Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan always briefed Prime Minister Imran Khan in every cabinet meeting on EVMs.

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He said the PM answered all questions of the coalition partners in today’s meeting. He said transparency would be ensured with the use of EVMs in elections, and termed it necessary to guarantee voters’ trust in the electoral system.

He said PM Imran Khan reaffirmed the commitment of his government to ensure free, fair and transparent elections in the country. He said the PM always spoke in favour of transparent elections and expressed his displeasure over the electoral system since 1970.

He said the prime minister was enjoying the support of members’ of parliament of his own party and allied political parties. He said all members of the government and allied parties had one agenda that was changing the life of the common man. Sh Rashid said the government was taking sincere steps to improve the professional capabilities of Islamabad Police. He directed the police officials of ICT to boost the morale of their subordinates which was also necessary for improving the performance of the police. He said efforts were being made to include additional 2,000 policemen in Islamabad Police. He said a memorandum of understanding (MoU) had been signed with the Punjab government for start of the Rescue-1122 service in the federal capital. He promised increasing salaries of the Islamabad Police besides starting a housing project for them.

Separately, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib said on Monday that the coalition partners of ruling PTI supported the government’s endeavour of making the electoral process flawless, transparent and impeachable.

Talking to the media, he said the government and coalition partners were on the same page for introducing electoral reforms bill as the introduction of EVMs would end the rigging in the next elections.

PM Imran Khan strived for the supremacy of the law and constitution and always took the coalition partners along during the entire stint in the government, he added.

He said Tuesday’s meeting of federal cabinet has been cancelled. He said the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN) was in the habit of making false statements and cheating everyone. It has the history of influencing judiciary. However, their dirty old tactics would no longer work this time as Pakistani judiciary was independent. The notary attested medical report of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has also attested the statement of Rana Shamim, he said adding that the verdict on the appeals of Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz was due soon.

He said Sharif family tried to defame the judges of Islamabad High Court which was tantamount to attacking judiciary. He expressed his surprise that another video of ex-judge Arshad Malik, made by Nasir Butt and others, has not yet been submitted in any court as evidence.

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