PPP Punjab Secretary General Hassan Murtaza said the party did not have any objection to the electronic voting machines (EVMs) but only harboured some reservations regarding its usage, emphasising that the PPP always welcomed debate on electoral reforms.
Murtaza, whose party opposes the immediate usage of electronic voting machines due to the lack of political consensus, was speaking during a meeting with a delegation of the European Union (EU).
The EU’s delegation led by its Political Secretary Dillarde Teilane called on the PPP leader.
The meeting was also attended by Zaid Ahmed Maher and coordinator DRI Samia Yusuf, finance secretary PPP central Punjab Rana Jawad, secretary events and records Ahsan Rizvi and PPP leader Afraz Naqvi.
During the meeting, he said that PPP has always welcomed debate on electoral reforms.
He briefed the delegation about the party’s contributions to the strengthening of democratic values in the country, including the passage of the 18th Amendment. He also said that PPP always stood for the rights of minorities, freedom of expression and women’s rights, adding that it believes that “democracy is the best revenge”.
He suggested that political parties should give 5 per cent representation to women on general seats, and they should be nominated on the basis of their performance, pointing out party notables including Benazir Bhutto, Begum Nusrat Bhutto and Faryal Talpur.
He added that the people were politically aware as women like Abida Hussain, Ghulam Bibi Bharwana and Salim Bibi Bharwana have been getting elected from backward areas like Chiniot and Jhang.
Murtaza said that the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) has played a fundamental role in the registration of women voters.He was of the view that Sindh was being punished because of its political consciousness, saying that electables were used by the establishment to make the governments of their choice.
He also paid tribute to the struggle of Jam Saqi and G M Syed.
Responding to a question, he said that political parties must discourage bringing the same women to the assemblies again and again. He said that women’s membership in PPP is more than other political parties and their representation in various committees is 5 to 10 per cent.
Responding to another question regarding intolerance in politics, the PPP leader held Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan responsible for this, accusing him of not accepting the decisions of institutions.
Speaking on the occasion, Teilane said that the EU is in contact with various political parties on electoral reforms. She said that the EU wants improvement in electoral reforms in Pakistan.
She also said that the EU is also interested in knowing about legislation regarding the disabled, minorities and transgender persons. The EU will welcome recommendations for electoral reforms at the federal and provincial levels, she added.