NA committee on parliamentary affairs meets

Islamabad: The Standing Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, met in the Parliament House on Thursday under the Chairmanship of Mian Abdul Mannan, MNA regarding briefing of the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and Election Commission of Pakistan.

The Committee Members were apprised by the Additional Secretary, Election Commission of Pakistan, regarding the upcoming Local Bodies Elections in Punjab and Sindh, he clearly admitted, that printing of 300 million and 30 million ballot papers in Punjab and Sindh, respectively could not be possible. Because Printing Press of Pakistan and other Printing sectors have no capacity at all for the purpose.

It was informed and confirmed by the Additional Secretary, Election Commission of Pakistan that technical team of PCSIR and NADRA had unanimously declared that Magnetic Ink used by the Election Commission of Pakistan, during the General Election 2013, life was not more then 6 (Six) hours and its life duration can reduced owing to hot season.

It was also confirmed by the Additional Secretary, ECP that if Provinces will submit their request for delay of upcoming Local Bodies Elections in Honourable Supreme Court of Pakistan, ECP will endorse their point of view. Because, ECP has already stated in the Apex Court that given time for Free, Fair and Transparent Election is insufficient.

As agreed by the Additional Secretary, ECP, Free and Transparent Local Bodies Elections in the country is not possible in these circumstances (due to time constraint), therefore, the Committee has unanimously recommended that already announced schedule of the Local Bodies Elections should be reviewed and delayed for few months in Punjab and Sindh.

The Committee unanimously recommended that PWP-II program should be continued in light of the directions given by the Supreme Court of Pakistan and it was decided that Secretary, Ministry of Finance & Revenue, Planning and Development and Housing will be called in the next meeting of the Standing Committee to discuss the allocation of funds for said program.

The Committee was briefed by the Secretary, Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, regarding the functioning and organizational structure of Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs. It was told by the Secretary that 109, officers and officials were working in this Ministry. Public Affairs & Grievances Cell has already discharged its duties effectively. The Committee was of the observation that PA & G Cell needs more attention for its smooth working.

It was informed by the Additional Secretary, ECP that Election Commission is already looking after the suggestion given by Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa regarding installation of biometric thumb impression, device at all polling station in KPK and all over the country. The Secretary, ECP briefed the Committee about the observation already made by the ECP about said device.

He said, it can be installed only dust free atmosphere, in Pakistan it is impossible, owing to present polling stations in School and College buildings etc. It was also informed by the Additional Secretary, ECP that 4 lac biometric devices will be required for Local Bodies Elections in the country, if said devices will install, it needs Rs.15-20 billion’s approximately

Meeting was attended by Sheikh Aftab Ahmed, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Dr. Muhammad Afzal Khan Dhandla, Dr. Nisar Ahmad Jatt, Chaudhary Salman Haneef Khan, Ms. Arifa Khalid Parvez, Ms. Shahida Rehmani, and Nafeesa Inayatullah Khan Khattak, MNAs, besides senior officers from Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and Election Commission of Pakistan.

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