PTI leaders opposed
EVMs in 2016-17;
recalls Ishaq Dar

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LONDON: Former finance minister Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar has revealed that a special committee of all the parliamentary parties in the National Assembly, including the PTI discarded the proposal for employing the electronic voting machines (EVMs) way back in 2016-17 for the general elections after thirty meetings.

“PTI leaders Dr Arif Alvi, Shafqat Mahmood and Dr Shireen Mazari were also members of the committee, who shared the views of the fellow members. I was heading the committee and all the members, including the PTI parliamentarians, unanimously rejected the proposal on the grounds that such system was not compatible with Pakistan’s condition,” the senator said. In a brief talk with the media, the PMLN leader said the machine isn’t feasible for fair polls as it would be incorrect to assume that the EVM is a modern technology in any manner. Several countries have given up the use of EVM.

Former Finance Minister Ishaq Dar

Ishaq Dar said the existing system of the government badly need reforms in all section of life as this system is corrupt and will never deliver the goods for the betterment of the public.

“Imran Khan’s government terms former government of Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif as corrupt but the fact is that present government is most corrupt and unprecedented.

Referring the economic situation of the country, the former finance minister said that he has penned down a detailed analysis which has been published in ‘The Nation’, London last week (17th November 2021).

He said that his proposed amendments will create a Governor SBP who will be completely independent of any State Institution, especially as he Chairs the Board himself and with the unbridled powers and protection to the Governor, he is actually been turned into a Governor-General of Pakistan- above and beyond the writ of the Pakistani laws.

Additionally, the amendments proposed in Sections 15, 46B, and 52A relating to the removal of the SBP Governor, limiting Parliament’s powers to amend the SBP law in future and giving a blanket protection to the SBP Governor and other officials from criminal proceedings respectively, clearly violate the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. These unconstitutional and discriminatory amendments that PTI government is mysteriously trying to bulldoze through the Parliament are liable to be struck down by the Apex Court even if so enacted. It is indeed intriguing and certainly requires a probe as to who negotiated and agreed such flawed, illegal and unconstitutional amendments with the IMF and on whose behest, it was so done? It is extremely concerning that how the Cabinet approved the SBP Amendment Bill, 2021 which included these unconstitutional and discriminatory amendments without observing the serious lapse of procedures which warranted the Ministry of Law to give prior consent on summary before it was presented for approval to the Cabinet? The question is who allowed to move the summary with procedural flaws? 

In conclusion, Ishaq Dar said that the aforesaid amendments in the SBP Act through SBP Bill, if carried out, would surely be against the economic interests of Pakistan. No country in the world has given such an autonomy, nay independence, to its Central Bank. We may rue the day we agreed to all this, especially to the curtailment of the development (growth) function of the SBP as it will no longer be priority area of the Central Bank. This Bill would facilitate further deepening of the ongoing economic disaster which would ultimately lead to the compromise of the Sovereignty of the State.