ISLAMABAD: Even as Pakistan’s population and the number of citizens eligible to vote grew between the 2008 and 2013 general elections, the number of registered voters moved in the opposite direction in 100 of the 272 National Assembly constituencies during the same period, an official document available with Dawn revealed.
In many of the constituencies the drop in the number of voters in 2013 was so pronounced that it called into question the credibility of the 2008 polls.
According to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) document, in 28 constituencies, the number of votes fell by more than 50,000, with the highest drop, of 241,692 votes, occurring in a single constituency in Balochistan. In another 22 constituencies, the decline in the voters’ number was between 30,000 and 50,000. In only 20 of the 100 constituencies was the number of reduced votes less than 10,000. The drop was less than 5,000 votes in only six constituencies.
A senior official of the ECP told Dawn that the reduction in the number of voters reflected deletion of bogus entries, including multiple entries, from the electoral roll.
Some of the constituencies particularly stood out.
In NA-266 (Nasirabad-Jaffarabad), the number of registered votes was 651,356 in 2008 but fell to 409,664 in 2013. Jan Muhammad Jamali of PPP had won the election from the constituency in 2008.
The number of reduced votes was higher than 200,000 in one other constituency; again in Balochistan. In NA-262 (Killa Abdullah) the number of registered voters was 392,221 in 2008 and dropped to 184,824 in 2013. Haji Roziddin of Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) had won the seat in 2008.
In NA-23 (Kohistan), in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the number of those struck off the electoral roll was 190,706. There were 317,734 registered voters in the constituency in 2008 and 127,028 in 2013.
In NA-263 (Loralai), in Balochistan, the number of registered voters dropped from 349,596 in 2008 to 214,322 in 2013. Sardar Israr Tareen of PML-Q was elected from the constituency in 2008.
In four other constituencies more than 100,000 ‘votes’ were weeded out. Three of them were in Sindh and one in Balochistan. In NA-231, Jamshoro, the registered voters’ number reduced from 500,064 in 2008 to 369,425 in 2013. In NA-233, Dadu, it fell from 438,433 to 310,078, and in NA-216, Khairpur, from 384,093 to 276,049. In NA-231 PPP’s Nawab Abdul Ghani Talpur had won in 2002 and 2008 and Malik Asad Sikandar of the same party in 2013. In NA-233 Talat Iqbal Mahesar of PPP was the victor in 2008. In NA-216 Pir Sadruddin Shah of PML (F) had won in the three previous general polls.
In NA-259 (Quetta) the number of voters decreased from 365,579 in 2008 to 264,293 in 2013 and in NA-267 (Kachhi) from 242,042 to 147,595.
In NA-211 (Naushero Feroze), NA-220 (Hyderabad) and NA-232 (Dadu), the number of reduced votes was 93,134, 91,743 and 89,697, respectively.
In NA-149 (Multan) the number of decreased votes was 89,248, dropping from 427,253 registered voters in 2008 to 338,005 in 2013. The seat was won by Javed Hashmi on a PML-N ticket in 2008.
In NA-215 (Khairpur) the registered votes fell in the 2013 elections by 86,829, in NA-249 (Karachi) by 83,571, in NA-204 (Larkana) by 74,423 and in NA-217 (Khairpur) by 72,502. In the 2008 elections, Farooq Sattar of MQM had won from NA-249 and Shahid Hussain Bhutto of PPP from NA-204.
The electoral roll shed 70,396 votes in NA-265 (Sibi), 67,863 in NA-193 (Rahim Yar Khan), 66,505 in NA-1 (Peshawar), 64,338 in NA-212 (Naushero Feroze) and 59,254 in NA-194 (Rahim Yar Khan).
The number of supposedly registered voters also fell in NA-222, Tando Muhammad Khan, by 58,807 votes, NA-221, Hyderabad, by 57,795, NA-147, Okara, by 55,972 votes, and NA-248, Karachi, by 55,809 votes.
Published in Dawn December 9th , 2014