Electronic voting 

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday said electronic voting was essential to ensure transparency in the next general elections and directed the authorities concerned to prepare a feasibility report of the process on priority. Chairing the meeting of federal cabinet here, he said all necessary actions would be taken to end corruption in elections as witnessed in the recent Senate polls. “We want next general elections to be fair and transparent and thus want to initiate the e-voting process well ahead of time,” he said. The prime minister also directed to workout the details for purchase of electronic voting machines (EVMs), adding he would also get regular updates on the progress of project. He said introduction of online voting for overseas Pakistanis was also a matter of priority. Imran Khan said the Senate elections exposed that how political leaders used money to buy votes. He said politicians including Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif through money-laundering transferred the national wealth to their bank accounts abroad. He mentioned a report of Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity (FACTI) which revealed that that $1 trillion was taken out each year from the poor countries to developed states. Presently, he said, $7 trillion of the stolen assets was parked in those safe havens causing irreparable loss to developing countries including Pakistan. The prime minister said money-laundering severely weakened a country’s institutions. He said in past tenures, the ruling parties launched the projects with mega kickbacks and resultantly the common man paid the price in shape of inflation and heavy loans. “Such politicians normalize corruption in a society, bribe media houses and removes checks and balances to ease their money-laundering chain,” he said. He said a society which set such standards of corruption faced an ethical downfall, adding “a nation gets destroyed when it loses the ability to ensure socioeconomic justice.”

Sohail Ali Khan

Islamabad

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