Govt ready to approach ECP, judiciary over thumb verification issue

Govt ready to approach ECP, judiciary over thumb verification issue

govISLAMABAD: Speaking in the National Assembly‚ Interior Minister Chaudhary has said the government is ready to approach Election Commission of Pakistan and judiciary along with opposition for the resolution of the thumb verification problem.

He said the election staff that did not use magnetic ink and those who cast fake votes should be brought to justice.

Meanwhile, the opposition parties PPP and PTI boycotted the National Assembly proceedings over the statement of Nisar. Opposition said it would not take part in proceedings till the apology of Nisar over the word of jugglery. Nisar said the one party is staging jugglery on the matter of thumb impressions.

The opposition parties protest over the statement of Nisar and demanded to withdraw it but when Chaudhry Nisar did not take back his statement the opposition boycotted the proceedings. During the session, opposition chanted ‘shame shame’ slogans. Due to the protest of the opposition, Nisar had to stop his speech for three times.

Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan also proposed the formation of a committee to investigate whether magnetic ink was used at all the polling stations or not.

He said it was not the responsibility of the incumbent government to provide magnetic ink for the last general elections and those responsible for providing the same should be brought to justice. He said the issue of thumb verification should not be used for political gimmick as we are ready to address this issue while taking on board the opposition.

The Interior Minister said he fears that magnetic ink was not used in several areas and a large number of votes are unverifiable due to use of common ink.

The Interior Minister categorically stated that the government has not in any manner interfered in the thumb verification process of NADRA during last five months. He said he had also suggested constitution of over viewing committee under justice (retd) Wajihuddin Ahmed to see whether or not the government has interfered in the process.

He said that 60 to 70 percent votes in all constituencies could not be verified. Nisar said due to this problem he had said that the purpose of hue and cry is something else. Nisar said whatever solution would be proposed by the opposition the government is ready to adopt this.

Nisar said that the government did not put any hurdle in the thumb verification issue, adding that the thumb verification could be done in Lahore, Rawalpindi, KPK and at his own constituency. He said that the PML-N has no problem, adding that he did not talked about giving Nadra under the control of Election Commission.

Nisar said chairman Nadra given statement in front of Senate committee that he was not threatened in Lahore instead of this he was praised. Nisar said the opposition should talk on facts. Nisar said he was ready to give blank check to opposition parties over the matter of thumb verification issue.

Nisar said that the election tribunals are not under the control of government. He said that it was told that the magnetic ink was purchased with the cost of Rs 2 billion but it was only purchased only with Rs 160 million.

Speaking on the issue of thumb verification, Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique said that thumb impressions are not verifiable as poor quality of paper and ink was used in the general elections. He said we should avoid mud-slugging on the issue and work together to address the issue. He said Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf is seeking thumb verification from four constituencies but it would have been far better if it had also offered its four constituencies for the verification process. He said the party should stop dictating election tribunals to get decisions of its own liking.

Meanwhile, leader of the Opposition Syed Khurshid Ahmad Shah said the opposition will not become part of any conspiracy for mid-term elections. He said we do not want mid-term elections as country is already facing multiple challenges including terrorism and we will support government on all issues.

Member belonging to Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf staged walkout from the House over the remarks made by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on the issue of thumb verification.

In his speech‚ the Interior Minister had stated that one opposition party is staging drama on the roads on the issue of thumb verification. The House will now meet today (Thursday) at 10:30 am.

Leader of the Opposition Syed Khurshid Ahmad Shah while talking to media outside the parliament house said that the opposition will continue to boycott the proceedings of the House until the Interior Minister withdraws his statement. He said that all the parliamentarians are respectable and they did not stage drama, adding that Chaudhry Nisar used hard word and he should withdraw his words.

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