ISLAMABAD: As compared to the voters’ lists after over 37 million bogus names were deleted from the 2007 lists, the number of registered voters as per the final electoral rolls (FERs) based on those having CNICs, has shown an increase of almost 50 percent voters.
After interaction with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the National Database Registration Authority (Nadra) officials and having looked into the related documents, The News noted that after removal of bogus voters, the 2007 voters’ lists were reduced to 44,027,567 voters, whereas the number of voters released by the ECP recently stood at 84,365,062 voters.
The Supreme Court had ordered in 2009 purgation of voters’ lists of bogus voters, i.e. having no CNIC or identity card, double or multiple entries etc. after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan and some other politicians had filed petition, challenging the authenticity of 2007 voters’ lists.
Following the verification (deletion of fake voters) of 2007 lists, Punjab had 26,794,918 voters (now 48,913,447 voters), Sindh 9,154,456 voters (now 18,432,876 voters), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 6,128,905 voters (now 12,064,597 voters), Balochistan 1,458,832 voters (3,278,164 voters) and Fata 490,456 voters (now 1,675,978 voters).
The comparison vividly shows that there has been almost 50 per cent increase in verified voters in each province besides a similar trend has been noticed in case of Fata voters and this also belies an impression that the number of voters in Sindh and Balochistan has been reduced in 2012 lists.
However, the lists prior to deletion of 37 million plus fake voters, Punjab was projected to have 45,147,994 voters, Sindh 19,752,843 voters, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 10,804696 voters, Balochistan 4,228,976 voters and Fata 1,279,111 voters, bringing the total unverified voters to 81,213,620 voters.
Similarly, as for women’s registration as voters, the total female voters as per 2012 final electoral rolls are 36,591,362, whereas their number stood at 35,726,668 in 2007 and after verification, it was reduced to 16,246,090; this needless to say shows an increase of over 50 per cent in the new voters having CNICs in the final electoral rolls.
The ECP and Nadra official contended that certain politicians were found comparing unverified voters’ lists with the 2012 final electoral rolls and this was the prime cause of misunderstanding and confusion.
When approached for his comment on the matter, Nadra Chairman Muhammad Tariq Malik told this correspondent that today 92 million Pakistanis had been issued CNICs. Of these, 84.365 million had been registered as voters in the final electoral rolls. The issuance of CNIC is on and registration of voters as per the Election Commission policy would continue till the announcement of general election schedule.
“Now, those not registered as voters despite having CNICs are either dead or have no proof of being resident of Pakistan’s any electoral area or have dual or multiple nationality or have surrendered nationality as Pakistani or if issued CNIC after June 01, were not included in the voters lists but would be included in the voters’ lists after these are updated,” he maintained.
Meanwhile, the Nadra chairman has written to all the political parties and invited their heads for briefing on voter lists and sought their cooperation in registration of persons, who have CNICs but could not be registered as voters for one reason or the other.
He was of the view that being the major stake-holders political parties and their leaders could be handy in motivating CNIC holders, particularly women in far-flung areas to get themselves registered and if they could not so far get CNIC, they should be encouraged and facilitated to do so.
For this, he pointed out that Nadra had over 800 data acquisition units across Pakistan and 252 mobile registration vans to cover far-flung and backward areas.
The ECP and Nadra insist that it was now the responsibility of political parties and people to ensure every individual of 18 years or above should ensure his name is included in the voters’ lists and if any discrepancy is still found, it should be brought to the notice of ECP offices in each district for correction.