Flawed verification process

KARACHI: I believe the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has let down the nation by failing to scrutinise the basic credentials of those who contest the national and provincial assembly elections in Pakistan. The defaulters among them not just manage to hoodwink the ECP but also end up getting a free parliamentary ride at the taxpayers’ expense for years on end.

Some of the facts that ought to be verified are the contestants’ criminal records, genuineness of degrees, tax payment, wealth assessment, bank defaults, failure to pay utility bills and dual nationality.

It appears that the ECP has no mechanism of its own to undertake any of the above tasks and waits for a hostile opponent to collect evidence and lodge a complaint. This is an uncivil practice. The state should have a mechanism of its own to undertake what is its own responsibility. It could easily prepare a software and share it with all relevant organisations to immediately receive correctly verified information for all contestants as soon as they file their nomination papers.

As a citizen, I am deeply concerned that the ECP’s porous processes will once again result in enabling many law breakers to become our lawmakers. I appeal to the ECP to develop, put in place and publicise the required verification processes before the 2018 elections.

Naeem Sadiq

Published in The Express Tribune, January 4th, 2018.

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Original news : https://tribune.com.pk/story/1599893/6-flawed-verification-process/