On Friday, Minister for Science and Technology Shibli Faraz announced that a person who can hack the Pakistan-made electronic voting machines (EVMs) will receive Rs1 million. “We will challenge hackers to hack the electronic voting machine and if they can hack it, we will give them an award of Rs1 million,” the science minister told journalists. Minister stated that there was “no easier way to cast a vote” than the EVMs and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) should not put itself in a “controversial position”.

Nearly 400,000 Electronic Voting Machines Have Been Manufactured Locally

Shibli Faraz informed the media that nearly 400,000 machines had been manufactured locally and the expense of manufacturing per machine was estimated between Rs70,000-75,000. Moreover, the 27 out of the 37 points that the ECP had mentioned in a document presented to the Senate Standing Committee on Parliamentary Affairs are a “charge sheet” against it, he said. “The election commission does not want to conduct elections via Pakistan-made EVM.”

ECP is Firmly Opposing Pakistan-made EVMs

Moreover, the minister’s statement was issued after officials of the ECP had walked out of a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Parliamentary Affairs after federal minister Azam Swati accused the commission of accepting bribes. A session of the committee was hosted under the chairmanship of Senator Taj Haider during which the debate on the usage of Pakistan-made electronic voting machines (EVMs) for the next general elections became hostile.

Read more: ECP to consult political parties on the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs)

Faraz mentioned the ECP had assigned a 37-point complaint letter to the government, and the 27 points highlighted in the letter were not related to Pakistan-made electronic voting machines (EVMs) — they were concerning the ECP’s capacity to use them. “Only 10 points were in direct objection to the electronic voting machine […] 27 other points relate to the election commission’s capacity to use them,” he said.

ECP to Further Explore EVMs 

In addition to this, the federal minister said ECP’s specialized team hosted its first meeting over the electronic voting machines (EVMs), and the Ministry of Science and Technology has presented them with nearly all the reports they had sought — the remaining reports will be sent to them in the following days. Moreover, ECP’s objection document stated, “There is no secrecy of the voter in the Pakistan-made electronic voting machine; there is a lack of transparency; testing time before the next general election is less; stakeholders are not on board; people have not been taken into confidence.”

Source: GEO News 


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