Govt plans convening joint sitting in Nov

PM Advisor Babar Awan says bills related to EVM use, Indian spy Kulbhushan Yadav on the cards


Rizwan Ghilzai October 22, 2021
PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD:

The government has decided to convene a joint session of parliament in November this year, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan said on Thursday.

Speaking to The Express Tribune, Awan said that the joint session will be called so that a bill pertaining to the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) could be passed by the government. He added that others bills, including one regarding captured Indian spy Kulbushan Yadav and the International Court of Justice, were also on the cards.

Shedding further light on the issues surrounding the electronic voting machines, the premier’s advisor said the incumbent government was merely implementing the orders of the Supreme Court and that Pakistanis living abroad will be given the right to vote through legislation. “The world is moving towards adopting new forms of technology and this is why it has been decided to implement the use of EVM through law.”

Further on, commenting on the hue and cry raised by the opposition parties regarding the use of EVMs in the 2023 elections, Awan said the opposition leaders are only interested in forming committees in the name of negotiations instead of getting any actual work done.

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“The opposition has not even taken any interest in any legislation including the one related to the Financial Action Task Force,” he said. “If the opposition wants to negotiate, it should do so inside the House as parliament is the best forum for this.”

It is pertinent to note that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has also objected to the use of EVMs in the next general elections and the opposition parties are also toeing the ECP narrative. However, the government maintains its stance that use of EVMs will clamp down on the alleged practice of rigging.

Earlier in June, the government bulldozed legislation in the National Assembly and got 21 laws approved including the controversial Elections (Amendment) Bill 2020 and the bill to provide right of appeal to Indian spy Yadav. Opposition parties had alleged that the PTI-led government was trying its level best to provide relief to Yadav.

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