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Prime Minister Imran Khan has been insisting that government's upcoming bill on the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) is "not for vested interests, but a step towards a free and fair next general election". He may be spot on. However, the government's decision to put off the scheduled joint sitting of parliament at the eleventh hour clearly showed that it lacks the required numbers so that this bill along with others could smoothly sail through the legislature.

The prime minister has been constantly describing opposition parties as stumbling block to the passage of the electoral reform bills. It is, however, time the prime minister admitted publicly that his party's coalition partners too are expressing their serious reservations over this proposed legislation. He must be now easing their concerns. But what is more important for him is to reach out to opposition parties for firming up a consensus approach to the passage of this highly important legislation ahead of the 2023 general elections.

Shujaat Khan (Peshawar)

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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