Published On: Fri, Dec 3rd, 2021
Published in Category: Politics

EVM to be marketed as Pakistan’s product; Don’t be afraid of it: President

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Islamabad: President Dr Arif Alvi Thursday asked the opposing voices not to be afraid of a “simple” electronic voting machine (EVM), hoping that after its success in upcoming elections, the equipment would be marketed as the “Product of Pakistan.”

“People will have to trust it. It involves no advancement. It is too simple. The country achieves progress by adopting new things,” the president said addressing a ceremony wherein he also signed the Election (Amendment) Bill 2021.

Passed by the parliament, the bill provides for holding of the next general election through the EVM as well as granting the right of vote to the overseas Pakistanis through I-voting.

Calling it a “great step”, the president said the legislation was made possible owing to the consistency of Prime Minister Imran Khan and hard work by the cabinet members despite huge resistance.

“This is a simple machine, not a nuclear reactor or JF-17,” he said and explained that it would help print the vote at the spot instead of printing the ballot paper at the press.

He said the machine would help to do away practice of printing extra ballot papers which used to be sold out later, the kidnapping of presiding officers, and confusion in the counting process.

Above all, it would ensure holding a fair election which had long been desired in Pakistan as every election followed the controversies and rigging charges which also impacted the credibility of the respective governments.

He said at EVM, the voter would cast his vote by touching the screen instead of stamping the ballot paper.

“The process is the same. Then what is the resistance for?” he questioned.

He explained that for an accurate result, the votes would be counted through an in-built calculator, though manual counting would also be available for the skeptics.

He clarified that the Ministry of Science and Technology was not a manufacturer of the EVMs rather it just made a prototype for the experiment. It would be the Election Commission to select the EVM based on the required specifications.

Coming to the I-voting for the overseas Pakistanis, the president recounted his as well as PTI’s legal and political struggle to give the voting right to the expatriate.

Rubbishing the notion of hacking, the president quoted the 2018 data of digital transactions worth $5 trillion a day which he said involved far lesser chances of hacking than a plane crash.

Terming the innovations as key to development, President Alvi said following the world’s footsteps was no service to the country.

He said due to multiple complications, the physical voting for the expatriates was not possible.

The president said the countries which had rejected the EVMs, was because they had their own better systems in place. Contrarily, Pakistan needed it owing to its system’s weakness.

He said the EVM would help to alleviate the confusion caused by the post-election rigging charges and bring about a strong government to support the democracy.

“Don’t worry, the nation will be convinced. Just like this one, the country will make progress in other fields too,” the president remarked.