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Friday June 24, 2022

Shibli Faraz says government to reveal EVMs in next 8-10 days

"There is no chance of the votes going to waste through EVMs," he says

By Web Desk
July 06, 2021
Federal Minister for Science and Technology, Shibli Faraz addressing a press conference in Islamabad, on March 14, 2021. — INP/File
Federal Minister for Science and Technology, Shibli Faraz addressing a press conference in Islamabad, on March 14, 2021. — INP/File

ISLAMABAD: In its mission to strengthen the country's electoral system, the government will reveal electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the next 8-10 days, Federal Minister for Science and Technology Shibli Faraz announced on Tuesday.

The minister, during a casual conversation with journalists in the  federal capital, said: "The machine will be provided to the Opposition and relevant stakeholders [...] and it can be tested anywhere."

Providing details, the federal minister said the machine would be user-friendly and would be able to function for two days after being charged.

"There is no chance of the votes going to waste through EVMs," he said.

The science minister said that each EVM would cost around Rs65,000 to Rs80,000, while it could function in extreme temperatures — 55°C to -10°C — as well.

The National University of Sciences and Technology and COMSATS University Islamabad are among the three institutions working on the EVMS.

"There will be a paper ballot along with the electronic voting record [...] the paper used for paper ballots can be utlised for a total period of five years," he said.

In the coming days, we will be able to make 2,000 machines on a daily basis, he said, adding that the government is trying to make waterproof machines.

The minister said the government would test the EVMs in by-elections, while a total of 400,000 machines will be required for the general elections.

The science minister said he did not know much about ventilators earlier, but after he was briefed about it, he learned that the locally-developed ones did not meet international standards.

Talking about the government's plans, he said 500,000 youngsters would be made familiar with the usage of modern technology — and once they are familiar with it, the government will help them get jobs abroad.

'EVM only solution for transparent elections'

Shibli, a day earlier, had said that EVMs were the only solution to conduct free, fair, and transparent elections in the country.

The incumbent government has always invited the Opposition parties to talk on electoral reforms with recommendations and suggestions to ensure transparency in the election process, he had said while talking to a private news channel.

The minister said that both PPP and PML-N were showing non-serious attitudes over electoral reforms and urged them to play a constructive role by addressing the issues of national importance in the Parliament.

He termed the Parliament as the best forum to make legislation or resolve public issues, adding the government was committed to giving the right of vote to overseas Pakistanis.


— Additional input from APP