ISLAMABAD: The government has decided to convene the joint sitting of the Parliament on Wednesday, November 17 as it continues its efforts to coax political allies the PML-Q and the MQM-P to rein in their support for the bills it plans to table on the electronic voting machines (EVMs), NAB and other issues. 

At least eight to 10 bills, including the one relating to electronic voting machines and the right to vote for overseas Pakistanis, will be presented during the joint session of the Parliament. 

Briefing the media after PM Imran Khan’s meeting with allies, Federal Minister for Interior Sheikh Rasheed Monday said that the government’s coalition allies, the PML-Q and the MQM-P, have both agreed on the bills that are to be tabled in the joint sitting of the Parliament on Wednesday. 

PM Imran Khan and senior members of the government met a delegation of the PTI-led government allies where the use of the EVMs for the next general elections was discussed at length. 

Rasheed said it was the PM’s dream to introduce EVMs in elections as it would ensure transparency and resolve the issue of mistrust in the electoral system.

The minister said that PM Imran Khan had answered all queries related to the EVMs by coalition partners during the meeting. He said transparency would be ensured with the use of EVMs in elections, and termed it necessary to guarantee voters’ trust in the electoral system.

Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry said all the coalition partners have expressed confidence in the leadership of PM Imran Khan.

PTI fails to convince MQM-P

Earlier in the day, Minister of Science and Technology Shibli Faraz briefed an MQM-P delegation to address their reservations on the use of EVMs but failed to convince them.

Sources privy to the matter had said that the briefing couldn’t satisfy the delegation on the use of EVMs, therefore, the decision to continue consultations on the matter was made.

When asked if the EVMs will avoid rigging or facilitate digital rigging in the polling process, MQM-P Convener Khalid Maqbool Siddiqi had said that the government has only partially briefed the allied parties regarding the use of EVMs.

He had also said that briefings regarding EVMs will continually take place.

The PTI allies, PML-Q and MQM-P, had expressed their concerns over the new legislation proposed by the government and complained of being “kept in the dark” over important decisions.

The differences among the coalition partners emerged when the government postponed the joint sitting of the Parliament due to a lack of consensus over the bills to be placed for passage.

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