BY OUR CORRESPONDENT
GILGIT: Gilgit – Baltistan government has decided to hold elections under biometric system, attempting to become the first region in the country to conduct free and fair elections.
The decision carries immense significance in Pakistan’s context as various political parties, after general elections held in 2013, termed it ‘massively rigged’, calling for early elections.
The two parties – PTI and Tahirul Qadri’s PAT – staged sit-ins for over two months in Islamabad to oust the PML-N government, which they alleged is the biggest beneficiary of the rigging.
“The government has taken a decision in this regard to hold elections under biometric system,” said a minister of G-B government, which is completing its five year term this December.
If biometrics system is applied, it is estimated that approximately 200,000 voters of the nearly 1.5 million populations in G-B will cost their votes.
Chief Minister Mehdi Shah has asked chief secretary and the elections commissioner to make arrangements to ensure this is done, said the minister.
The government has held meetings with the officials at NADRA and assured availability of funds to meet the expenses.
If the system is introduced, the government is hopeful it will be able to close doors on other parties who wish to use unfair means to win the elections likely to take place in March 2015.
Chief Minister Mehdi Shah on Monday confirmed his government will ensure elections are held under the new system.
“Let things come clear. We are confident we will win if biometric system is in place.”