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Thumb impressions of all citizens not available: NADRA

ISLAMABAD: Chairman National Database Registration Authority (NADRA) Usman Mobin on Thursday appeared before the Judicial Commission (JC) set up to probe rigging allegations in General Election 2013 where he said that unverified votes could not be equated with fake votes.
He said that verification of all the votes wasn’t possible as NADRA did not have thumb-impressions of all the citizens.
Usman Mobin appeared before the JC, chaired by Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk. Answering the questions of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) lawyer Abdul Hafeez Pirzada, Chairman NADRA said that thumb impressions used to be taken on pages previously but now automatic machines are used.
Answering another question, Chairman NADRA said that if the thumb impression is readable then it is sent for the verification process. He said that thumbs with scar on them are not easy to be verified while problems are faced in reading the thumb impressions of persons aged 60 or above.
Mobin said that the reports submitted before the JC were also submitted in the election tribunals. He said that magnetic ink had nothing to do with voters’ verification. “We got 4 samples of magnetic ink but we didn’t make any comments because we do not have the capability to check whether an ink is magnetic or not”, he revealed.
“The votes that can’t be verified are not invalid votes. We call them unverified votes. It doesn’t matter whether the ink is magnetic or not”, he said.
Commenting on the revelations made by Chairman NADRA, Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan said that the statements by Usman Mobin were no less than a surprise.
Adjourning the proceedings of the JC till 9:30 am Friday, Chief Justice Nasirul Mulk once again forbade the political leaders to discuss the merits of the judicial commission. He warned that the proceedings will be declared in-camera if the directions are not followed.

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