fakhruddin-G-Ibrahim-ECP-meeting-INP-670
Chief Election Commissioner Justice (Retd) Fakharuddin G. Ebrahim presidesing over a meeting. — File Photo by INP

ISLAMABAD, Jan 1: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has changed the timeline for fresh verification of voters in Karachi.

A senior ECP official told Dawn on Tuesday that under the revised schedule the exercise would be completed on March 20 four days after the expiry of National Assembly’s term.

The door-to-door verification of voters in the city has been ordered by the Supreme Court on complaints about irregularities in enrollment of about three million people.

The Pakistan Muslim League-N, Jamaat-i-Islami, Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf and Pakistan People’s Party had moved petitions in the apex court and pleaded that these people had been living in Karachi for over a decade but their votes had been transferred to their permanent addresses without their consent.

This is the second time the schedule for the exercise has been changed. Originally, the verification was to be carried out from Jan 5 to Jan 22, but the entire process leading to the printing of corrected electoral rolls was to be completed on Feb 24.The National Database Registration Authority (Nadra) had started preparing lists of electoral rolls on Dec 17 and was required to complete printing and deliver the rolls to officials concerned by Dec 30. But after significant change in the format of the form, the time for its printing and delivery was extended till Jan 9 with the plan to commence on Jan 10.

The official said that while the door-to-door verification would still be starting on Jan 10, some timelines had been changed because of ground realities and now the printing of electoral rolls after incorporating necessary corrections was expected to be completed by March 20.

According to the original schedule, five days had been allocated for the process of handing over verified copy of electoral rolls and filled-in forms to returning officers before being sent to Nadra for scanning, digitisation and printing of updated draft rolls in 14 days.

At least 10 days were set for matching the printed version with copies retained by the returning officer and making necessary corrections and four days for Nadra for making electoral rolls the database for printing the final lists for the 2013 election.

Narda Chairman Tariq Malik said he was unaware of any change in the timeline.

“As far as Nadra is concerned it is prepared to print and deliver the rolls for door-to-door verification by Jan 9,” he said.

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