PM Imran Khan decides to form parliamentary committee for electoral reforms


Prime Minister Imran Khan. — AFP/File
  • PM Imran Khan decides to form parliamentary committee to address matter of electoral reforms.
  • Tasks legal expert Barrister Ali Zafar with getting in touch with all political parties that have members in the Senate.
  • PM had earlier stressed on the need for reforms in a letter to National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has decided to form a parliamentary committee for electoral reforms, it emerged on Tuesday.

In a meeting with legal expert Barrister Ali Zafar, the prime minister said that the country needs to work on electoral reforms “on a war footing”.

“We have learnt a lot from what occurred during the Senate elections,” PM Imran Khan said.

“We will put a stop to malpractices and the use of money in the race,” he added.

The prime minister also made clear the government’s plans with regard to Senate proceedings. “The government will work with all political parties in the Senate,” he said.

He expressed the hope that all pending legislation in the Upper House will be reviewed soon.

The premier directed Barrister Zafar to get in touch with all political parties that have representatives in the Senate.

PM’s letter to NA speaker

In March, PM Imran Khan had penned a letter to National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser asking him to form an electoral reform committee to bring transparency to the elections.

“The recent Senate elections have highlighted once again the scourge of vote purchasing in the prevailing non-transparent manner of conducting elections,” the premier said in the letter.

The premier also wrote that the treasury bench had submitted a bill for “meaningful electoral reforms to remove the prevailing stigma attached to our electoral process”.

“I would request you to immediately form an inter-party parliamentary committee to discuss these reforms and come to an agreement on how to introduce best practices including the use of technology and introduction of EVMs (electronic voting machines) to strengthen our electoral system and democracy,” he said.

The premier said the task should be completed in a definitive time frame so that enough time is given to the relevant institution to bring reforms before the next general elections.

Speaker writes to parliamentary leaders

Following receipt of PM Imran Khan’s letter, Qaiser wrote to parliamentary leaders regarding the formation of a committee to oversee the issue of electoral reforms.

In the letter, Qaiser wrote that representatives of all parties would be included in the committee, adding that a notification regarding the formation of the Electoral Reforms Committee would be issued after the nomination of parliamentary leaders in the Senate.

The letter said that electoral reforms are “the need of the hour for transparent elections.”

Qaiser wrote that in the past there was a “market for buying and selling of votes, a practice which needs to be eradicated.”

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