Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Sunday announced that he would delegate all the administrative powers relating to verification of thumb impressions to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) with the approval of the Prime Minister. “I give all the administrative powers relating to verification of thumb impression regarding elections to ECP for three months,” Nisar told a press conference. Nisar said the draft of National Security Policy has been prepared and it will be laid before the Cabinet Committee on National Security to be held on Monday.
“After the transfer of powers, the Election Commission should decide about thumb impression verification in co-ordination with National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) as well as Pakistan Center for Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR). Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) will provide assistance to the Election Commission in the verification process. We will write a formal letter to Chief Election Commissioner in this regard. The Election Commission and election tribunals should play their role to resolve the matter relating to May 11 general elections,” the Interior Minister maintained.
He said, in this regard an office order to be issued today (Monday).
He said that termination of NADRA chairman’s contract has nothing to do with the verification of voters through thumb impressions. He accused the NADRA Chairman of forming groups in his department and also leaving on foreign visits without any permission. He claimed that NADRA Chairman has made as many as 100 foreign visits during the last five years.
“We are waiting for the decision of the Court about NADRA chairman termination. We will make everything crystal clear about NADRA Chairman after court’s decision and put it before the nation,” he said. He said that magnetic ink was not used in the polling and the FIA would take action if Election Commission identified any type of irregularities.
The Interior Minister said election process is being made doubtful by some parties and allegations are being levelled against the Government. He said decision on complaints against elections is the jurisdiction of Election Tribunals and Courts. Nisar said over two thousand official passports, which were being misused, have been cancelled, adding there were cases of smuggling and human trafficking through official documents.
About the draft of National Security Policy, Nisar said it has been prepared; and it will be presented to the Cabinet Committee on National Security, which would meet on Monday. He said that draft of National Security Policy has been prepared and it will soon be announced after the approval of the Federal Cabinet. He said the policy will have three parts; one is secret which will not be revealed. The second is strategic‚ giving a roadmap as to how we will move ahead and the third part is about operations. He said the first option to eliminate terrorism from the country is dialogue. If dialogues are not successful‚ then “other” options will be adopted, he said.
Nisar said there will be a timeframe for measures to be taken under the policy and a national network will be put in place in one year. He added: “we have to make our cities and towns safe.”
Referring to government’s initiative of dialogue with Taliban‚ the Interior Minister said that there would have been much progress in this regard if there was no drone attack. He said US officials said they had not carried out drone attack knowingly. But, he was of the view that ground realities show that the drone attack in which Hakimullah Masood was killed was carried out under a well-planned strategy to sabotage the dialogue process.
Author: Naveed Butt
Source: Business Recorder