Jul 092017

This refers to the editorial, ‘A mess in the making’ (Jul 5). As regards political scenario of the country, a mess is really in the making. The parliamentary committee on electoral reforms was formed on July 25, 2014 to come up with a proposal for these reforms within three months. What to speak of three months, three years have elapsed, yet the report of this committee is still awaited. This shows the interest of the ‘protectors of democracy’ for these much-awaited reforms. Action on these reforms is required to be taken as soon as possible so as to make the Election Commission of Pakistan a more powerful and competent institution. If we are to improve our electoral system, we must learn lessons from our previous experiences. It is regrettable that, while the political rhetoric rages on, there has been little constructive debate. The improvements are required to be proposed and thoroughly debated and tested before their implementation.

In this regard, the opposition should also play its due role. It has to ensure that the debate is focused on making specific improvements in the electoral system and to maintain the pressure on the federal government and the ECP to implement them well ahead of the next general elections. Full utility should be made of the voting machines during the elections. Also, Nadra’s biometric data for voters and data from this year’s census should also be made available before the start of the 2018 elections. This is necessary for redrawing constituencies and ascertaining the population eligible for voting within each constituency.

Air-Cdre (r) Azfar A Khan


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