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Never issued any orders to ECP: NADRA Chairman issues clarification

NADRA Chairman Tariq Malik was talking to media in Washington D.C. Source: PID/Twitter.

ISLAMABAD: National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) chairman Tariq Malik has clarified that he wrote a letter to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to brief them on the e-voting system and never issued any orders.

“ECP is a constitutional institution, NADRA gave a presentation after being asked,” Tariq Malik said while talking to media in Washington D.C., after inaugurating NADRA office there.

He said on the special directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan, overseas Pakistanis are being provided NADRA facilities and added now CNIC and POC can be issued there. He said 8.4 million overseas Pakistanis are eligible for e-voting and said work will only be initiated after the permission of the ECP.

He ruled out the impression of directing the ECP, saying he didn’t give any instructions to the body will clear the misunderstanding after returning home.

A day earlier, the ECP had expressed its displeasure on the tone adopted by NARDA chairman in his letter to the body, reminding that the prerogative of implementing a new process for holding polls lies with the election commission.

NADRA Chairman Tariq Malik had recently written a letter to the electoral body, asking it to step up the pace on the proposed e-voting system.

In response, the commission said it was disappointed with the tone of the NADRA chairman. “His tone gives the impression that the ECP operates under the NADRA,” it said.

The commission further noted that NADRA wanted to sign a new agreement of Rs2.4 billion for e-voting with the ECP. “NADRA should first explain why it abandoned the previous e-voting scheme on which Rs66.5 million had already been spent.” The commission question if anybody been held responsible for the flaws, if any, in the existing system.

The e-voting system is already in place and currently in the custody of ECP. As per the contractual obligations, the ECP was supposed to release the long outstanding Rs28.5 million to NADRA.

NADRA Chairman Tariq Malik proposed a strategy and plan for new e-voting system to ensure accountability and transparency,  Through the new proposed system, NADRA will assist ECP to develop its independent infrastructure, data centre with dedicated servers, Non-Nadra Dependent Network, third party software and human resource capacity building.

The Election Commission will be independent of conducting e-voting for overseas Pakistanis. NADRA’s servers and computers will not be used in this system. NADRA urged the ECP to progress positively on the proposed system with a view to meeting the project plan timelines as per the expectations of all the stakeholders.

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