Islamabad: “First few orders of Election Tribunals to verify the thumb impressions of voters in subject constituencies wherein detailed inquiry is ordered, have started pouring in NADRA, and we are poised to do an honest, transparent and fair job,” said Tariq Malik, Chairman NADRA while rolling out Code of Conduct for employees who will perform the task.
According to a press release he was addressing the highly skilled and accountable workforce working on this sensitive project. “Honesty, integrity, and fair practice create a solid foundation that earns the public’s trust.
NADRA’s code of conduct is the expression of this solid foundation” said Tariq Malik. He further emphasized strict compliance by all concerned to these guidelines for transparent results.
NADRA has prepared this code of conduct for its own employees, public representatives, petitioners and respondents, he added. These guidelines aim at ensuring and maintaining political impartiality across the board and to avoid conflict of interest while performing tasks of national importance in a totally non-political, professional and honest manner, said Tariq Malik.
The employees of NADRA involved in Thumb verification project had to sign undertaking on oath for impartiality before they were put to job.
The objective of Code of Conduct is to make persons, involved in performing these tasks, accountable of their actions. While highlighting the details he said that NADRA employees will not indulge in any activity deemed as conflict of interest.
All employees will show high sense of responsibility in their working and will perform tasks sincerely and dedicatedly above any political affiliation without any fear or favour.
It was also said in the code of conduct that no employee engaged in verification process will directly or indirectly contact petitioner or respondents in the cases where petition has been filed in election tribunal. Special chains of custody procedure along with standard operating procedures are developed together with Election Tribunals to secure sensitive record.
Moreover, all NADRA employees will ensure that evidence being forwarded from Election Tribunal will be handled with utmost care. Any alteration or manipulation in the evidence will be liable of punitive action as described in relevant laws.
In addition to this all verification reports when completed will be submitted to election tribunal only and no one else will have the access of the reports. NADRA has beefed its own security and has sought additional help of Ministry of Interior to get Islamabad Police on board.
Responding to a question Malik said “I see this code of conduct as pragmatic necessity for running a non-political organization in a complex but very politically charged society.”
Malik further said the code of conduct also provides guidelines for petitioners and respondents and they are informed that all facilities, including but not limited to NADRA Headquarters and scanning / digitization facility, where verification exercise will be conducted will remain out of bound for petitioners or respondents. Same restriction will also apply on all candidates who participated in General Elections — 2013 regardless of being returned or not.