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LAHORE: Special Assistant to Chief Minister on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan has said that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government is committed to ensure transparency in the electoral process of the country. “The use of electronic voting machines is the only way to ensure transparency and prevent rigging in the elections,” she said while talking to the media at PTI Secretariat here on Saturday.

According to her, every losing candidate in the election always points finger at the winner. To put an end to this tussle between the candidates, Prime Minister Imran Khan reiterated his commitment to ensure transparency in the use of electronic voting machines and fulfill all constitutional requirements in this regard. She said that the PML-N raised the slogan “vote ko izat do”, but Imran Khan gave practical shape to it. “The use of modern technology will help stop the traditional fake vote casting. The PML-N is obstructing the way of electronic voting machines because it will put an end to their malpractices during the elections,” she claimed.

“The overseas Pakistanis are an asset of the country and they must be involved in the election process. The PML-N is against granting voting rights to overseas Pakistanis because it will result in their political death. The PML-N is afraid of granting voting rights to overseas because it knows that overseas Pakistanis consider Imran Khan as their ‘messiah’ and their hearts beat with him,” she added.

Talking about the budget, she said that for the first time in provincial history a separate annual development plan with a tune of Rs 189 billion is allocated for south Punjab. The proposed budget is 35 percent of the total size of the ADP 2021-22 and the funds allocated for south Punjab will not be used anywhere else, she added. Dr Firdous said that the opposition failed to present any roadmap regarding public welfare and has no strategy for the betterment of the people. They are only criticizing the budget for the sake of criticism, she added.

Responding to a question, Dr Firdous said that education is important but training also matters. “We do not expect such words from Bilawal Bhutto who was trained by the late Benazir Bhutto. The chief justice of the Supreme Court has shown annoyance over the failure of the Sindh government to provide basic rights and facilities to the people.

The children of Thar are still longing for a drop of water. We hope that Bilawal will soon look into these matters and do something for the betterment and welfare of the Sindhi people,” she added. The SACM said that austerity starts with leadership; the non-salary expenditure of the CM Office in 2017-18 was Rs 202.1 million, which was reduced by 40 percent in 2020-21.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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