KARACHI, Oct 7: A report of the National Database and Registration Authority has revealed that the May 11 general election to a National Assembly seat in Karachi, NA-256 (Shah Faisal Colony), was rigged.
The Nadra report, second in a row, was submitted on Monday in the Election Tribunal at Karachi in an election petition of Muhammad Zubair Khan, the runner-up candidate of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, against the election results of the NA seat won by Muttahida Qaumi Movement candidate Iqbal Muhammad Ali Khan.
The election tribunal headed by a former judge of the Sindh High Court, Zafar Ahmed Sherwani, had directed Nadra to carry out the examination and comparison of the election material, including a statement of count, used counterfoils and photo electoral rolls and verification of thumb impressions on 84,748 ballots on the application of the PTI candidate.
The Nadra report revealed that only 6,815 thumb impressions on the ballots could be successfully authenticated, while the thumb impressions on 57,642 ballots could not be compared or matched through the Nadra system because the fingerprints were of very poor quality seemingly due to a lack of essential properties of the ink and inkpad used in the process of balloting.
Besides, the report disclosed that 11,343 counterfoils contained invalid computerised national identity card numbers, never issued by Nadra.
It revealed that 791 votes were not even registered in the constituency and the fact was ascertained on the basis of the CNIC numbers mentioned on the used counterfoils. This was ascertained on the basis of the CNIC numbers mentioned on the used counterfoils. It said that the irregularity was mainly observed at polling stations 57, 49, and 58.
The Nadra report said that there were 5,893 duplicate votes polled by 2,812 voters, mainly in polling stations Nos 56 (56 votes) and 46 (246 votes).
The report also mentioned that seven votes were cast at polling station 168 on the CNIC 42201-5796395-3 issued in the name of Zaheer, son of Zaheeruddin Khan, resident of C-15, City Terrace, Block-13, Gulistan-i-Jauhar.
It further showed that 314 used counterfoils were found without having fingerprints on them. They were mainly found at polling station 178 (66 votes) and polling station 18 (21) votes.
The report said only 6,815 votes were successfully authenticated by Nadra’s Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS), meaning thereby that fingerprint affixed on the counterfoil at the time of issuance of the ballot paper correctly matched with the fingerprint data of registered voters held with Nadra in citizens’ database.
The Nadra report revealed that 1,950 ballots failed authentication, meaning that someone else voted against the CNIC number mentioned on the used counterfoils.
It said that a large number of fingerprints on used counterfoils could not be processed through AFIS due to poor quality of fingerprints as the ink used during polling did not possess the required qualities and properties.
The report said that Nadra had proposed to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) certain features of the ink to be used for capturing fingerprints at the time of issuance of ballot papers, but it seemed that the ink used in the polling process did not possess the proposed qualities.The Nadra report also explained its entire process of verification of the votes. It said that the statement of counts, counterfoils and photo electoral rolls were scanned and loaded into a database to preserve election material in electronic form. This operation was performed using auto-feed high-speed scanners at the desired image quality of 400 DPI, or dots per inch. After scanning, digitisation operation commenced wherein CNIC number was captured and fingerprints/ thumb impressions were electronically extracted from the scanned images.
Then, it said, fingerprints/ thumb impressions of the voters were sent to AFIS for authentication/verification against their respective record held against their CNICs. AFIS is a software solution which has the capability to accurately compare/match fingerprints/ thumb impressions and verify their authenticity.
A similar report of Nadra had earlier revealed that the election to NA-258 (Gadap) was massively rigged.
The seat was won by a candidate of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Abdul Hakim Baloch.
The election result of the constituency was later challenged in the tribunal that ordered the verification of the thumb impressions on ballots.
Investigation by Nadra showed that only 2,475 of a total of 32,865 ballots sent to Nadra for verification of certain polling stations were successfully authenticated.
It disclosed that the thumb impressions on 23,432 ballots could not be compared or matched through the Nadra system because the fingerprints were of very poor quality apparently due to a lack of essential properties of the ink and inkpad used in the process of balloting.
The report said that during the process of verification it was revealed that 4,680 counterfoils contained invalid computerised national identity card numbers, which were never issued by Nadra.