NA-246 by-polls: ECP turns down Rangers request for biometric systems

Published: April 18, 2015


KARACHI: Secretary Election Commission Pakistan (ECP) Babar Yaqoob turned down on Saturday Rangers request to install biometric system in NA-246 constituency ahead of the by-elections.

The ECP secretary said that the commission does not have enough time to implement biometric systems in the constituency and that the move would require many legal and procedural changes.

Yaqoob added that Rangers would be given magisterial powers on polling day, whereby they can arrest offenders in case any voter fraud is reported.

He said 358,000 ballot papers are being printed under the supervision of Pakistan Army and Rangers.

Responding to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) reservations on ‘ghost polling stations’, Yaqoob said they are investigating the claims.

The ECP secretary said there will be no load-shedding on the day of by-polls, while no one except the presiding officer will be allowed to take their cell-phone inside the polling stations.

He hoped that by-elections held in peaceful atmosphere will result in bringing up eligible political leadership.

Imran Ismael calls for free and fair elections

Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Imran Ismael raised concerns over the neutrality and impartiality of the polling staff in the NA-246 by-elections, alleging they have affiliations with their rival political party Muttahida Qoumi Movement (MQM).

Speaking to the media after a meeting with the secretary election commission, Ismael demanded the counting of votes should take place under the presence of Rangers, Express News reported.

Ismael further said that they have informed the ECP about, what he called, persistent attacks by MQM on their rallies every other day during the election campaign.

PTI chairman Imrna Khan is set to arrive in Karachi today to boost the polling campaign as the party prepares to organize a rally in the run-up to the by-elections.

MQM candidate meets ECP

Kanwar Naveed Jamil has also held a meeting with the secretary Election Commission. According to Express News, Jamil informed the commission about the ‘code of conduct violations taking place in the aforementioned constituency’ and urged him to take action against the same.

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Reader Comments (13)

  • Hasan Askari
    Apr 18, 2015 - 6:56PM

    Countless by elections have taken place and that too in uneducated, backward, tribal areas and villages but out of all those somehow Karachi is the place where these people suddenly remember how fair and free elections are important, where press conferences are conducted, cameras are installed, security officers are placed outside and inside (maybe one inside a balot box also), where biometric system suddenly becomes important, where fear is an issue, where media from all over Pakistan is there with cameras and where more people outside of Karachi worried about elections then the Karachites.

    There is a simple solution. No need to put yourself in stress

    Respect wishes of people of Karachi. Stop insulting us by blaming fear.

    We vote for MQM because we think it is the best option and speaks about issue. Burgers like Ismail, Extremists like Imran Khan and JI do not represent our values.

    Stop wasting money and channel your resources into constructive work. You might come out of failure situation. Recommend

  • Citizen of Karachi
    Apr 18, 2015 - 7:09PM

    Somehow nothing ever goes right for PTI i.e. unless it works to their advantage. From Day 1 of their campaign, the only thing we have heard is criticism of mqm, whining over election arrangements and, in general, preparing ground for post election defeat protests. We have yet to hear an agenda from them for the city of Karachi. No wonder all their slogans are ringing hollow depicted by the lack of spontaneous participation in their crowds. Mqm matpy have its issues but unfortunately PTI has not come out as a credible alternative.Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Apr 18, 2015 - 8:52PM

    After election day and becoming number three (JI will beat them hands down), PTI will start blaming Rangers and Army. If MQM wins this seat comfortably, the result would give legitimacy to all previous election.Recommend

  • Naeem Khan
    Apr 18, 2015 - 8:54PM

    @Hasan Askari:
    It is noticeable that after the Rangers collected illegal weapons and arrested people who were involved in criminal activities at Nine Zero, the rash of killings and black mailing the trader community subsided to a large extent. For your information not all people in Karachi are for MQM. I ask you one question, why you people still call your self Mohajirs even after 67 years. Why not Pakistanis from Sindh. MQM is the party which was created on hate and against the local Sindhi population. Not all Mohajirs were hateful and majority of them assimilated in local population all over Pakistan, some of them has intermarried my relatives in Mardan. But it is this community in Karachi which is led by a person sitting in London in a posh area with out an apparent job. We know where the money was coming from and sustaining his lavish living but that source is about to get dry and the noose is tightening by the London Metropolitan Police for money laundering. The whole country knows how violent this MQM is and they want to impose their will on those who do not support them. Sure, there are sane members of MQM who are fed up with the heavy handedness of party leaders and their goons and like to see change. I live far away from Pakistan and I am not a member of any political party or sympathize with any party in Pakistan, what I see the criminal activities of some of the political parties in Karachi which has devastated that city. It is time for the central government to clean up Karachi and bring in some law and order and sanity to this God forsaken city. Recommend

  • Adnan Siddiqi
    Apr 18, 2015 - 9:10PM

    Good decision by ECP. Who the heck is Rangers to ask for biometric system anyway?Recommend

  • raider
    Apr 18, 2015 - 9:21PM

    @Hasan Askari:
    if you have vote bank in real terms then you need not to be bother about what ever the system is being installed, field for pti and ji would be same as mqm, plz trust your vote bank if you keep thanks Recommend

  • Noman
    Apr 18, 2015 - 9:40PM

    @Hasan Askari: No biometric system is a good news for MQM, I am no surprise to see these so called educated party oppose the electronic voting system :)Recommend

  • Salman Ahmed
    Apr 18, 2015 - 10:09PM

    @Hasan Askari:

    If MQM are honest and is nor afraid of the REAL will of the people, then why don’t they want biometric systems or cameras?

    Sadly, MQM lives off fear, threats and force.Recommend

  • Hasan Askari
    Apr 18, 2015 - 11:44PM

    Naeem Khan, I call myself Muhajir just like you guys call yourself sindhi, punjabi, etc. I am a Urdu speaker and not Sindhi speaker. I will never ever call my self Sindhi or punjabi. Never. When you dont call yourself Pakistani then do not ask us to change. All provinces are based on ethnicity. If you love Pakistan that much then sacrifice Sindh Punjab for Pakistan 1 , Pakistan 2 Unit. Let me lol. THere is a history. SIndh has a story. We respect that. Keep your history and let us respect out history.I am Pakistan and a Muhajir Pakistani and Urdu is me language.

    And we respect Sindh more than any other.So don’t try to create fight among us. We respect their history and I am sure educated among them will understand my point. It is not about one being less or more. Just being different on one thing.

    Radier. System is fine and I think it should be used in next election in all Karachi. Problem is you cannot implement selective rules just because you dont likesome group. If you want to do it then prepare from Karachi to Peshawar next time

    And dont worry about NA246. Immo getting above 10000 means rangers stuffed ballot in his favor -like establishment did in 2013

    All- I hope we usea thing in our body which is called brain. It is not about biometric system. It is about selective implementation of law. You cannot have one system for some and another for other. EC refused for same reason. It could have been challenged

    And dont worry …we will continue to make MQM win.Till you get in your head and start respecting our mandateRecommend

  • Omer
    Apr 19, 2015 - 12:48AM

    It seems to me that its very difficult for the rest of Pakistan to accept MQM and its mandate in Karachi. And its very obvious that Karachi will vote for MQM. Recommend

  • Dr. Asad Sadick, Germany
    Apr 19, 2015 - 2:03AM

    I fail to understand why the ECP has turned down Rangers request of biometric system in the elections in Karachi NA-246. Why? Are they planning to help rigging. Don’t see any other reason. Biometrics would only have further made the elections clean and credible. Am sure the Rangers have a reason to request this. Recommend

  • Asad S
    Apr 19, 2015 - 7:51AM

    @Hassan Askari

    Don’t act like all Urdu speaking people support MQM. Many including myself are Urdu speaking people who never have and never will support MQM. And do remember this we call ourselves Pakistani first …the rest does not matter at all!!Recommend

  • Naeem Khan
    Apr 19, 2015 - 10:01PM

    @Hasan Askari:
    By the way when I lived in Mardan , I always called my self Pakistani from NWPF, now I call myself Pakistani American. You don’t have to speak Sindhi to be from Sindh. The Mohajir community in K-P call themselves Pakistanis from K-P and they do speak Urdu and there is the beauty of their assimilation. The fact is that you are supporting a very violent so called political party but it is your right to do so and if the majority of people vote fairly for MQM then more power to them. Stop bellyaching that Rangers are going to stuff the ballot boxes, it will be an excuse to lose the election. My guess is that PTI MAY win, and it is just a guess, I have no idea who will win.Recommend

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