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Voting machines demo within a week: Fawad

Says cabinet approved Mubashar Hassan name for MD APP; Tariq Malik returns as NADRA chairman; slams opposition for negative politics

Ansar M Bhatti

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhary Fawad Hussain has said  the demonstration process of Electronic Voting Machine, under government’s electoral reforms agenda, will be completed within a week.

He was briefing media in Islamabad on Tuesday afternoon about decisions taken in the Federal Cabinet that met in the Federal Capital today with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair.

The Minister said initially we have ordered 500 EVMs for trials in the elections of Bar Councils and press clubs. He said all the 36 conditions of Election Commission of Pakistan have been fulfilled in initial trials of the EVMs. The EVMs are being manufactured by three companies.

Fawad Hussain said PML-N has filed a petition in the court to deprive the overseas Pakistanis of their right to vote while it is among our top priorities to give them basic right of voting as we consider them an integral part of the country. He said we are waiting for PPP’s response in this regard to finalise the legislative procedure.

The cabinet prayed for the martyrs of Ghotki train accident and victims of a Pakistan origin family in Canada. Chaudhary Fawad Hussain said the incident of Canada vindicates Prime Minister Imran Khan’s reservations regarding rising trends of Islamophobia in the West. Condemning the incident, the cabinet stressed on western countries to take immediate steps to root out the major cause of Islamophobia.

The Prime Minister has directed the Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi to finalise the reforms in transportation and logistics. The Law Minister Farogh Naseem briefed the cabinet about reforms in criminal law.

The cabinet was informed that around 17 million people are getting benefits of Ehsas program. The data of Ehsas program is being digitalized to make it more transparent.

The cabinet was briefed that Utility Stores Corporation is making sales of over 100 billion rupees and first time it has come out of loss.

The cabinet approved the Corona relief package for Tajikistan to help fight against the pandemic.

The cabinet also accorded the approval to record the National Anthem of Pakistan in modern vogue.  The minister also slammed opposition for what he called its negative politics. He called upon them to join hands with the government in nation building.

To a question, Minister for information said we are ready to negotiate with opposition but there would be no compromise on bargaining with corrupt elements. Chaudhary Fawad Hussain said it is condemnable that PML-N does not want to give right of vote to the overseas Pakistanis.

The minister said Mubashir Hassan has been appointed as Managing Director of Associated Press of Pakistan.  He told that Tariq Malik has has re-oppointed as Chairman NADRA.

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