Pakistani voters living abroad would not be able to cast ballots in the upcoming elections, as it would take almost a year to develop an e-voting system for the country, Attorney General of Pakistan Irfan Qadir informed the Supreme Court on Tuesday. “Though the ministry of information technology has expertise to bring in the e-voting system, it needs time to develop different softwares and anti-hacking firewalls and legislation to make it workable,” said Qadir . A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and comprising Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed was hearing two identical petitions seeking right to suffrage for overseas Pakistanis.
The bench directed the Election Commission of Pakistan to consider the ideas of ministry of IT as shared by the attorney general and come up with a workable solution enabling overseas Pakistanis to cast their votes.
Qadir informed the bench that a meeting was arranged in his office on March 18 where IT and NADRA officials observed that although e-voting mechanism was in vogue in different countries, it was not free of flaws. An official of the IT ministry informed the meeting that they can introduce the system, but it will need time, Qadir said. The attorney general said with e-voting system there would be no need of polling stations in other countries for expatriate Pakistanis.