Islamabad: As a lot of complaints were being made about multiple and bogus entries in the Electoral Rolls-2007, and as all the political parties, civil society, and media were demanding rectification of these errors/ mis- descriptions therein, the Electoral Council of the Election Commission of Pakistan, after due deliberation, decided in November 2009 to revise computerized Electoral Rolls, 2007 in collaboration with NADRA using their CNIC as a UNIQUE IDENTIFIER.
Since then the ECP and NADRA have been working together to materialize this dream which is now, Allah willing, close to fruition. Mr. Ishtiaq Ahmed Khan, Secretary, ECP has thanked all the aforementioned quarters who have been extending full support to the ECP over the past two years to achieve this goal.
A lot of difficult moments also came along this long journey, as happens while embarking on un-trodden paths, but we all together overcame the same and Insha’ Allah will reach the destination together, and it is important that a few important milestones of this effort should be put in their proper perspective.
Mr. Ishtiaq Ahmad Khan said the ECP handed over its database of Electoral Rolls-2007 to NADRA on 11th February 2011 for verification of voters against their database. NADRA reported back on 05/03/2011 that out of 81 Million voters registered in Final Electoral Rolls 2007, 44 Million voters were verified against CNIC database whereas approximately 37 Million voters were not verified which was made public by the ECP through a press release dated 8th March 2011.
After deletion of these 37 million unverified voters from the Draft Electoral Rolls, 2011, NADRA added 36 million who had obtained CNIC after preparation of Electoral Rolls-2007. NADRA can provide evidence from its database with regard to 37 Million unverified voters as well as 36 Million voters who have been added into the Draft Electoral Rolls, 2011.
The Secretary ECP drew attention to section 26 of the Electoral Rolls Act 1974 according to which “An Electoral Roll shall not be invalid by reason of any mis-description of a person enrolled thereon or of omission of the name of any person to be so enrolled or of inclusion of the name of any person not so entitled”. Therefore, the Electoral Rolls, 2007 will remain intact until the electoral rolls being revised are finally published in 2012 by the Election Commission of Pakistan.
In this regard, the ECP is now releasing district wise details of NADRA augmented record which, alongwith verified record of Final Electoral Rolls – 2007, has resulted in Draft Electoral Rolls (DER), 2011, as per attached list which is also available at the ECP website www.ecp.gov.pk.
Mr. Ishtiaq Ahmed Khan drew attention of the citizens to the significance of door to door verification exercise being carried out with the help of more than two lakh verification officials throughout the country to make all possible efforts to ensure 100 percent coverage of all the houses as well as the voters for preparation of a complete and accurate voters list to ensure free, fair, transparent, and credible elections in Pakistan for all times to come and thus underlined the need for all the political parties and the voters to extend full cooperation to make this exercise a success.
For guidance of the Verifying Officials and the voters necessary instructions have been issued during the past one month the gist of which is reproduced below:
If any person finds his name in the Draft Electoral Rolls with correct particulars then he/she will be verified/ registered there.
During verification, any citizen of Pakistan holding CNIC can get himself /herself registered as voter at the place where he/she is present provided that he/she is an ordinarily resident of that electoral area.
If any person does not find his name in the Draft Electoral Rolls, the Verifying Official will fill Form (Alif) in case of single voter and Form-2 in case of more than one voter or a family. In case of death or migration of a voter, the Verifying Official will fill Form
If any voter is registered in Draft Electoral Rolls with incorrect particulars, the Verifying Official will correct the particulars with red pen in accordance with CNIC.
In case of displacement due to law and order situation or any other natural calamity, people residing in temporary Government registered camps will be registered at their permanent addresses as mentioned in NADRA’s CNICs.
No person shall be enrolled on the electoral roll for any electoral area more than once or on the electoral rolls for more than one electoral area i.e. one person, one vote.
It may also be shared with the people that about 70% verification process in the biggest Province of the Punjab has been completed while it is proceeding satisfactorily in the other three provinces as well as in FATA though problems are being faced in some districts due to law and order situation, recent floods, and dengue fever in these areas. The ECP would assess the progress in all the districts and then take appropriate decisions in its meeting on 29th September 2011.
It may also be recalled that after release of information about unverified, deleted and augmented voters in March 2011, Mr. Mubashir Luqman, filed a Constitutional Petition No. 23/2011 in the Supreme Court of Pakistan seeking deletion of unverified voters from the Electoral Rolls, 2007.
The ECP informed the Hon’ble Court that necessary steps were being taken in collaboration with NADRA to revise Electoral Rolls-2007 so as to clean them of all multiple entries and those who have died during the last three years and also to add those who had become eligible to be enrolled as voters.
The Apex Court, after recording the statement of the Secretary ECP, disposed of the petition vide order dated 31st March 2011 and directed the ECP to fulfil its Constitutional commitments as early as could be possible.
Mr. Imran Khan, Chairman, Pakistan Tehreek Insaf, also filed a Constitutional Petition No. 31/2011 on 7th April 2011 in the Supreme Court for deletion of the unverified voters from the Electoral Rolls-2007 and incorporation of new eligible vote verified from NADRA’s database.
The ECP apprised the Hon’ble Supreme Court that the unverified voters had already been deleted from the Draft Electoral Rolls, 2011, 36 million had been added therein and that the same would now be verified through door to door verification.
The Secretary, ECP Mr. Ishtiaq Ahmad Khan has expressed his gratitude to the honourable teachers involved in the door-to-door verification exercise who have always performed this task of national importance with dedication and passion and appealed to them to complete the ongoing verification exercise as well with same zeal, especially when this is going to be the last verification exercise as thereafter the ECP is making arrangements with NADRA for continuous updating of the voter list in light of issuance of new CNICs in the future.
For more information, contact:
Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP)
Election Commission of Pakistan Secretariat
Election House, Constitution Avenue G-5/2, Islamabad
Tel: +9251 920 1975, +9251 920 6062
Fax: +9251 920 5402, +9251 920 5300