ECP seeks details of missing fingerprints

ISLAMABAD: Follow­ing the disclosure that fingerprints of over 29,000 voters in a constituency were missing from Nadra’s database, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has sought details of the electorate across the country whose fingerprints and photographs are not available with the National Database and Registration Authority.

In a letter written to the Nadra chairman, the ECP has drawn the attention of the authority to the fact that the commission had asked Nadra to provide biometrics of all voters of NA-120 for the purpose of pilot testing of biometric verification machines in the constituency.

The letter says Nadra provided the requisite data of majority of voters of the constituency and informed the ECP that biometrics of 29,607 voters were not available with the authority as fingerprints of 27,121 voters were not available for the reason that they had been issued CNICs prior to induction of biometric machines into Nadra and 2,271 voters were NICOP holders and their biometrics were not available.

It points out that one of the candidates in the constituency, Dr Yasmin Rashid, moved the Lahore High Court, raising objections to the credibility of electoral rolls on the ground of non-availability of the biometrics of 29,607 voters.

Against “this backdrop, the Hon’ble Commission has desired that being custodian of the biometric data of the citizens, Nadra may be asked to provide district, constituency, tehsil and census block-wise statistics of all voters (as per enclosed pro forma) present in the CERS whose biometrics, fingerprints and photographs are not available with Nadra for placing the same before the Hon’ble Commission. Further, Nadra may take immediate steps to make sure that biometrics of the all the voters are available with it before next general elections.

‘‘An early action in this regard will highly be appreciated,” the letter reads.

When contacted, a senior ECP official said the huge figure of missing biometric record of over 29,000 voters in a single constituency was alarming as the total number of such voters whose biometric data was not available with Nadra might be running in millions.

He said the ECP planned to continue test run of biometric machines in the upcoming by-polls and stressed that urgent steps were required to be taken to make sure that not a single person was missed out.

He said a solution to the problem of unreadable and unclear ridges of voters with skin diseases and engaged in laborious work should also be found out.