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ISLAMABAD: A week after empowering the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to use the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), the government on Wednesday gave the media a practical demonstration of the gadget at the Parliament House.

The demonstration was led by Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Dr Babar Awan, Senator Faisal Javed and Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) representative Nasir Malik.

Talking to media, Fawad said initially the demonstration was given to the Parliamentary reporters, while the members of National Press Club and Bar Associations would also be briefed on the working of EVMs in due course of time.

He said opposition parties would also be sensitized about the functioning of EVMs and their feedback would be welcomed in that regard, he added.

Fawad Chaudhry said a prototype of EVM had been installed at the Parliament House so that all the legislators could get themselves acquainted with the machine, urging the parliamentarians to give their valuable suggestions for its further improvement.

He said the ECP had given 36 conditions for the EVM when its manufacturing process was initiated a few years back to meet its criteria.

“I am proud of our scientists, engineers and institutions that all the 36 conditions have been fully met and incorporated in functioning of the EVMs,” the minister said, adding “An EVM is as easy [in use] as a mobile phone.”

He said the EVMs would help ensure transparency and compile election results on a fast-track basis as the delay in vote count always cast doubt on its authenticity.

Fawad said it was habit of some political parties to level allegation of rigging after being defeated in the elections which was also evident from the recent by-polls held in various constituencies including Karachi’s (NA-249) where both the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and People’s Party questioned its transparency.

“The biggest issue is that the elections’ result take time after completion of polling, but this machine will help produce the result within [some] minutes,” he maintained.

He again invited the opposition parties to come forward and play their due role in finalizing the electoral reforms for which the government had been striving since it came into the power.