Voter fraud: 65% of votes in Balochistan were bogus

Published: September 22, 2011

ECP and NADRA reveal staggering figures for 2008 general election.

ISLAMABAD: 

Balochistan had the highest rate of fake voters during the 2008 general election, according to findings from the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA).

A glance at statistics from the province do not reflect well on the electoral process. In Killa Abdullah there were total of 387,823 registered voters and only 70,820 could be verified. In Kech, of the 218,953 registered voters only 84,500 were legitimate. In Loralai there were 226,658 registered voters, of which a meagre 52,657 could be verified. Of Jaffarbabad’s 391,608 registered voters, only 98,919 were not bogus.

The legitimacy of our current government has been severely questioned by recent findings that almost half of the entries in voter lists at the last election were fake.

The startling facts emerged as the ECP and NADRA were preparing new voter lists based on computerised national identity cards (CNICs). Discrepancies emerged between the electoral rolls used for last general election and succeeding by-polls held so far.

(Read: Democratic process – Balochistan seeks quick completion of voters’ list)

The official documents, copies of which are available with The Express Tribune, reveal serious flaws in the electoral system used in the 2008 general election. Among the 81.2 million voters registered, 37 million were either ghost voters, multiple entries or the voter was registered without any authentic proof of identity. The figures for dubious entries were as follows: 65 per cent in Balochistan, 62 per cent in FATA, 54 per cent in Sindh, 43 per cent in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and 41 per cent in Punjab.

The 2007 electoral rolls were an updated version of lists compiled by the ECP for elections held in the 90s and 2002.

Statistics from around the country are alarming. Larkana, the hometown of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, had 484,727 fake entries against 240,762 genuine registered voters who could be verified. The town had a total of 725,489 registered voters.

The district of Multan, from where Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s stalwart Makhdoom Javed Hashmi were elected to the National Assembly, had 1.16 million bogus entries out of a total 2.2 million registered voters.

Karachi had more seats than any other city in the national and provincial legislatures, and a total of 6.6 million registered voters. Only 3.9 million could be verified. A glaring 2.7 million entries had been fake.

Similarly, Lahore, Pakistan’s second largest city and capital of most populous province Punjab, had a total of 3.7 million registered voters. Among them 2.1 million have been declared genuine and the remaining 1.6 million could not be verified.

Islamabad, the capital and considered the most developed city in the country, was not free of electoral fraud. Out of the total 482,548 registered voters, 153,965 were bogus entries. Peshawar had a total of 1.2 million registered voters. Of these, 610,197, just over half, were fake. Quetta had a total of 652,799 registered voters. Among these, 323,837 could not be verified as genuine registered voters.

The findings make uneasy reading for the incumbent national and provincial legislatures. The electoral system has been uncovered as falling well short of fair democratic standards.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 22nd, 2011.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • Nael
    Sep 22, 2011 - 7:37AM

    Just because they could not be verified does not necessarily mean they were fake. Because they couldn’t be verified they MAY be fake. This is really bad interpretation of statistics.

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  • Mirza
    Sep 22, 2011 - 7:58AM

    These voter lists were prepared under the military govt of Mush and not the current political govt. Blaming and targeting the current govt for the crimes committed by Mush govt is unfair, shameless and undemocratic. In fact it is the current govt which is not continuing with those bogus lists and letting the election commission work independently. The truth is the voter lists showed the extent of corruption in Pakistani society during the past and present. .

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  • Sep 22, 2011 - 8:52AM

    The most important question now is what is going to be done about it? Only fair elections will bring in a government that the masses really want Recommend

  • zia ur rehman
    Sep 22, 2011 - 9:59AM

    Thanks to Imran Khan for removing these fake votes!!

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  • Sep 22, 2011 - 10:21AM

    My age is was 26 when I registered with Election Commission of Pakistan three years back. When I checked later on to see if my vote is registered I was astonished to know that my age was mentioned as 62 (…which means I have just 3 years left to death.)
    Till this date no one has come to our place to get our family registered. Anyone in Election Commission in the Federal Capital listening?

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  • ehitman
    Sep 22, 2011 - 12:31PM

    so in real terms, the present government is NOT DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED???

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  • Sep 22, 2011 - 2:05PM

    The Election Commission is also a joke in Pakistan. To be able to submit your nomination papers days before an election so there is no chance for verification is bad policy, as proven by the number of fake degrees that have been exposed during this government’s tenure. Candidates must be required to submit their documents at least 4 months before the election so that all information can be verified prior to the name appearing on the ballot.

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  • Sep 22, 2011 - 4:20PM

    @Nael: More lies more denials.When Pakistan talks about Self determination in Kashmir why every one forgets the history of Baluch people. what happened to Nawab Nowroz (Babu Nawroz) in 1958, In 1962 to second Baluch rebellion known as the Parari resistance from Jhaawan to Marri and Bugti where Gen Tikka khan earned the title of “Butcher”. Then again in 1973 under Mir Hazar Khan when in 1974 Bhutto sent helicopter gunships to butcher innocents, and 1975 Khair Baksh Marri was arrested and disappeared.In 2005 BLA appeared and people got killed in high gear. Musharraf went in guise of discussion and blasted and killed hundreds in Bugti.In contrast every shade of opposition leader lives in Indian side of Kashmir and we talk to them for a solution. It can only happen in a country like India where Barrister Sultan Mahmood , the ex-Prime Minister of Pakistani visits Srinagar, the capital city of J&K, and addresses a ‘huge’ gathering at Lal Chowk and vows to support the ‘freedom struggle’ and stresses moral, political and financial support on behalf of Pakistan to Kashmiri struggle of freedom. The Hurriat leaders are permitted to meet the visiting Madam Khar in Delhi. Learn what a democracy and freedom of expression means please.We don’t butcher with whom we disagree. We still honor the dissidence.Recommend

  • Omair Shakil
    Sep 22, 2011 - 7:58PM

    @ VINOD: Aren’t you forgetting the Babri Masjid and Gujrat riots? India has a LONG way to go before it can claim to be a teacher of equal rights and co-existence.

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  • Nael
    Sep 22, 2011 - 9:17PM

    @Vinod: Thank you for your rant. But you have completely missed the point of my comment. My comment is about bad journalism, im not trying to defend the government. In fact im sure there were plenty of fraudulent voters but all 65% of voters who could not be verified were not fraudulent. There would have been many other reasons why some of them could not be verified such as data entry errors, missing or outdated information and so on. Even in the worlds most advanced countries there is a huge problem verifying voter lists let alone a complete backwater like Baluchistan.

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  • Sep 25, 2011 - 1:55PM

    @Omair Shakil: Not only me entire India will never forget Babri Masjid and Gujarat– NEVER. It is a black patch on our democracy and way of life in India. It may take time but law has got long arms. We are truely and honestly ashamed of these and many more. We are constantly working to get over these. Event a law by the name of “Protection of Minority Act”is on the table. We Know our shortcomings and will overcome. But tell me honestly how many temples have been raised to ground and their land swallowed in Pakistan. Any case pending any remorse? Think of MA Jinnah, father of your nation, and what he said in your parliament? Any one to honour his commitment?

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  • Omair Shakil
    Sep 26, 2011 - 3:21AM

    @Vinod: Empty words and hollow promises. Remorse? Is that what you offer to the families of more than 2000 Muslims who died in the Babri Masjid Riots? Is that what you’ll offer to the thousands who were killed in the Gujrat riots? I think you should start by putting the Chief Minister of Gujrat of the time on trial for overseeing the massacre, as your own investigation reports indicate. That Act you mentioned, IS STILL ON THE TABLE, and will remain so. Talk when you pass it, nay, when you enforce it! If you’re so bought on the idea of Indian democracy, then why don’t you let the people of Occupied Kashmir enjoy democracy and exercise their fundamental right of self determination? Think of Nehru and the promise he made to the world when he said that a plebiscite will be held in Kashmir. Honour you commitments first before reminding me what MA Jinnah said!

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