Nadra tells tribunal: Substandard ink hinders votes’ inspection

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LAHORE: The National Database and Registration Authority director general has told an election tribunal the substandard ink purchased by the Election Commission of Pakistan and used for casting votes in the 2013 polls is causing difficulty in ballots’ inspection. In a written reply, Nadra DG Syed Muzaffar Ali stated that the ECP had ignored recommendation of the authority and purchased poor quality ink for the purpose.

The reply was submitted last week during hearing of a petition challenging victory of PML-N MPA Mohsin Latif in the 2013 elections from provincial constituency PP-147, Lahore.

The defeated candidate of PTI, Shoaib Siddiqui, filed the petition alleging that his defeat was engineered.

The tribunal member, Kazim Ali Malik, had appointed a local commission and asked him to hold inspection of votes cast at six polling stations in the constituency initially.

The commission, Ghulam Awan, after holding inspection of the record submitted a report to the tribunal and revealed that at least 1,590 votes cast in the six polling stations could not be verified due to substandard ink.

At this the tribunal sought a reply from Nadra DG, asking him to explain the reasons. The DG pointed out that Nadra had rejected four out of five ink samples referred by the ECP.

However, he said the ECP ignored Nadra’s advice and procured the rejected samples of ink. The tribunal would resume hearing on Aug 26 with arguments of the parties.