President Mamnoon Hussain has emphasized that every individual of the society must realize that his fate can only be decided through his vote. He added that it is necessary that apart from making electoral process functional, fast and transparent, sanctity of the vote should be ingrained in the minds of children from early age. He underlined that if the need arises help from educational curriculum may also be taken along-with requisite measures to bring about a change at the social level. The President said this while addressing the ceremony of National Voters’ Day held at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, Islamabad on Thursday. Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Minister of State for Human Rights Barrister Usman Ibrahim, members of parliament and diplomats were also present on the occasion.
The President stated that we are celebrating National Voters’ Day today with the good news that our electoral system has entered a modern era. He highlighted that after the launch of mobile phone application every voter of the country will be able to ascertain all details related to his vote. He pointed out that experiments like biometric and electronic voting have also been carried out for further improvements, speeding up and ensuring transparency in electoral system which will make it compatible with the modern requirements. He said thattechnical matters of electoral system are certainly important and there is a need for similar concern and effort to improve them which is visible in the activities of ECP and other state institutions. But it should also be kept in mind that technical system and legal framework remains meaningless unless solid measures are taken to make the system respectable and reliable, he added. He stressed that one of the ways to take solid measures is that the sanctity and respect of vote is ingrained in our minds. He maintained that celebration of National Voters Day by ECP every year is also a part of the same process. This will create awareness about the importance of the vote and maximum number of people will discharge their national duty by registering their votes, he said.
The President stated that illiterate and low-income segments of society should also be taken into consideration while aligning the electoral process with information technology and modern trends. A balance needs to be created between old methods and modern technology so that there is no interruption in the functionality of the system, he added. He urged that while maintaining the spirit of rules and regulations, it is necessary to adopt certain non-traditional methods to further make it easy to attain objectives. For example, it can also be useful to involve other segments and institutions of the society including political parties and mosques to further expand the system for training of voters, he said. The President stated that it shows that ECP is also soliciting the support of other institutions of the state including civil society to further improve the electoral system. He noted that it is a welcome development but sometimes actual progress is not consistent with the statistics shown on the papers. He stressed that improvement of electoral laws is a continuous process in which parliament, political parties, think tanks and other social institutions play an important role adding that we are also undergoing this process. He said that different segments of society and relevant organizations have worked hard to achieve this greater goal. The nation is hopeful that all technical hurdles in the way of next general elections will also be resolved with the same ease, he added.
Chief Election Commissioner and Secretary ECP also addressed the ceremony.