SENATE ADOPTED SENATOR A. REHMAN MALIK’S REPORT ON ELECTION-2018
Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Interior, Senator A. Rehman Malik moved a motion for adoption of the 4th and Final Report on ‘’Holding of Free, Fair and Transparent General Elections- 2018 and its Security’’ in the Senate House today on October 10th, 2018. The Report was unanimously adopted by the House. Chairman Senate Mr. Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani appreciated Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Interior Senator A. Rehman Malik for his tireless efforts in probing and compiling the comprehensive Report on Election- 2018.
Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Interior Senator A. Rehman Malik said ‘’ I am grateful to the Chairman Senate for reposing his confidence in me and the Members of the Senate Standing Committee on Interior by nominating the Committee to oversee and monitor the conduct of free, fair and transparent / security of the General Elections, 2018’’. He said The Committee expresses its satisfaction on the constitution of Parliamentary Commission consisting of Members from both House of the Parliament, as per the earlier recommendation in all of the Reports. Senator A. Rehman Malik informed the House that on the direction of Senate Standing Committee on Interior, the Election Commission of Pakistan has asked the Director General Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to conduct the forensic audit for confirmation of a voice message regarding failure of Result Transmission System (RTS).
Senator A. Rehman Malik later briefed the media outside Parliament House about the ‘Final Report on Election- 2018’. He said that pursuing the orders of the Chairman Senate dated 12th July, 2018 and keeping in view the escalating threats of the terrorism across the country, the Senate Standing Committee on Interior had held a high powered meeting on 19th July, 2018 by inviting all the stakeholders. “The meeting of 19th July was attended by Secretary Interior, Secretary Defence, Secretary Election Commission of Pakistan, National Coordinator NACTA, all Chief Secretaries, Chairman PTA, Chairman NADRA, Home Secretaries all I.G.Ps, and Representative of the GHQ, Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor, and briefed the Committee in detail on the arrangements of security for General Elections, 2018” he added. He said that Committee has already expressed its satisfaction over the security arrangements across the country on Election Day.
Senator A. Rehman Malik briefed that in pre-election meetings all the Law Enforcement Agencies were directed to ensure the security of voters, candidates, electoral staff, vicinities and polling stations. He added that it was directed CCTV Cameras to be installed at Polling Stations across the country and foolproof security should be provided to all political leaders who are listed in NACTA’s threat alerts list (65 threats). He said that cognizance should be taken against abusive language used during election campaign and establishing of Joint Cell by FIA and PTA, to monitor the Cyber-attacks and abusive language against political opponents on social media was ordered.
Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Interior Senator A. Rehman Malik said that on the Elections Day i.e. 25th July, 2018, multiple complaints, allegations, and reservations on the alleged irregularities regarding the General Elections, 2018 were received from various political parties, independent candidates, media and general public. He said that the Committee after thorough investigation during a series of meetings wrote letters to Election Commission, NADRA and all other stakeholders to report on the complaints, allegations, and reservations.
He said the “grey areas” the Committee has pointed out include the delay in election results, the failure of the RTS housed in NADRA, the forensic audit of voice message circulated on WhatsApp by ECP to POs to stop using RTS, issues related to the ECP’s Result Management System (RMS), the shortage or non-provision of Form 45s, observations of the members on the RTS and RMS, the ouster of polling agents from polling stations, the number of rejected votes, the failure of internet and telephone services in constituencies, the breakdown of the internet server at NADRA headquarters, reservations of parliamentarians such as the posting and transfer of presiding and returning officers, and the recovery of stamped ballot papers from roadsides, dustbins and elsewhere, and so on.
Senator A. Rehman Malik said that he was shocked that there were almost 4,200 Presiding Officers who did not comply with the orders of ECP to install RTS in their mobile phones and hence the RTS system was deprived communication of results from 4,200 polling stations.
Senator A. Rehman Malik informed that on 25th August, 2018, a letter was also written to the Prime Minister of Pakistan in his capacity as Minister for Interior to order for constitution of the Technical Experts Committee to probe into the technical aspects of failure of RTS and a reminder was also sent to Ministry of Interior. He added that the forensic shows the first result was received by RTS around 17:30 hrs 25th July and then subsequently it kept on noticing the immediate increase in receiving the messages to the tune of 15,796 per hour by 23:00 hrs and 15,796 per hour (NA: 8,045 ; PA: 7,751). He said that the results continued without stopping till 02:00 hrs 6,453 results per hour (3,254 NA & 3,199 PA) after which it drastically dropped to almost 77 results per hour by 18:00 hrs (26th July).
Senator A. Rehman Malik said that the Committee thoroughly investigated the Result Management System (RMS) and observed that the RMS System was launched by ECP in collaboration with UNDP. He said that the quality and functionality of RMS was certified by a company called Kaulitatem Inc. duly registered in USA, having its office in Lahore. He said that Kaulitatem Inc. also issued Certificate of Security (although not signed by anyone from Kaulitatem Inc.) claimed to have been tested by EC-Council, another company based in USA with one of the offices in Hyderabad (India). Senator A. Rehman Malik expressed that It was matter of concern that the Company namely Kualitatem Inc., in collaboration with UNDP, failed to inform in advance that the testing of the Security of the system would be done by EC-Council that have an office in a hostile country – India (Hyderabad). In other word it was mis-declaration of verification of Kualitatem Inc., in collaboration with UNDP.
Senator A. Rehman Malik questioned about the role of Ministry of I.T. played in RMS Software and said that the relationship between UNDP and Kualitatem Inc. and EC- Council need to be investigated.
Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Interior said that the Committee also thoroughly investigated the delay in election results, Non-provision of Form-45s to the polling agents and shortage of forms, Ouster of polling agents and recovery of ballot papers from dustbins, roadsides on Election Day. The Committee has sought report from ECP for Verification of total number of Ballot Papers printed constituency-wise and their distribution to the ECP Staff. He added that ECP was also requested to indicate as to how many Ballot Papers were used on the Elections Day and how many were remained unused and how their safe custody was ensured by ECP Staff.
He said that to further enlarge the scope of investigation, it is proposed by the Committee that further verification can only be done when the real picture will emerge on the basis of the complaints and its verification of alleged rigging constituency-wise and after its proper scrutiny as per the complaints made by political parties.
Senator A. Rehman Malik, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Interior said that the Committee recommends that the Parliamentary Commission should ensure a follow up of the already written letter to the Prime Minister of Pakistan in his capacity as Minister for Interior for constitution of the Technical Experts Committee to probe into RTS failure. He said that the Committee recommends that an independent, transparent and highly professional forensic auditing body of international repute may be hired to conduct investigation of all the above “Grey Areas” under the umbrella of “Areas of Investigations/ TORs” already identified by the Committee. He said that the Committee recommends to look into whether NADRA and ECP followed PPRA Rules while acquiring products and services for these systems (RTS/RMS) from UNDP, EC-Council. He said that the Committee recommends total forensic audit of thumb impressions of casted Votes (constituency-wise) may be conducted.
Senator A. Rehman Malik said that the committee placed its final report today covering salient features of achievements of the committee, identification of grey areas, TORs for further probe and recommendations which will serve a purpose of guidelines of newly constituted Parliamentary Commission.
SENATE ADOPTED SENATOR A. REHMAN MALIK’S REPORT ON ELECTION-2018