QUETTA: Over half a million eligible women have not registered themselves as voters with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in Balochistan as they do not possess their Computerised National Identity Cards (CNICs).

Provincial Election Com­missioner Muhammad Nae­em Jaffar said on Wednes­day the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) had no record of women belonging to far-flung areas of Balochistan. However, he added, the com­mission was taking measures to ensure maximum participation of wom­en in the electoral process.

“The Election Commission selected various areas for registration of women voters,” said Mr Jaffar.

“We have been receiving encouraging reports for the past six months in this regard and will make all efforts to fill the gender gap in Balochistan before the next elections,” he said.

Nadra has held out an assurance that it will send mobile teams to remote areas of the province for issuing CNICs and other legal documents to women, said Mr Jaffar.

In Balochistan, presently over 3.7 million voters are registered with the Election Commission and 1.5m of them are women.

Published in Dawn, April 20th, 2017