NADRA has sped up work on new electoral rolls, Malik tells Senate


Interior Minister Rehman Malik told the Senate on Friday that on the directions of the Supreme Court, the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) had speeded up the process of completing new electoral rolls and had also recruited additional temporary staff for the purpose.
During the Question Hour at the Upper House, Malik said a project had been launched for the computerisation of the record of police stations. He said initially the project had been launched in 23 districts of the country and would be extended to the entire country in a phased manner. He said the project had already been implemented in the federal capital and software had been developed for availability of first information reports (FIRs) both in English and Urdu.
Malik said the government was deploying all the necessary tools in coordination with other countries to curb human trafficking. He said because of these efforts, 800 human traffickers were arrested in 2011, 1,779 in 2010 and 1,755 in 2009. In a written reply, the minister said 12 Pakistanis were killed while entering Europe illegally via Turkey during April 2010 and September 2011. The House was told that new aircraft on lease would be inducted into the fleet of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) by the end of February, which would help improve the efficiency of the national flag-carrier.
Defence Minister Chaudhary Ahmad Mukhtar told the House in response to a question that the availability of new aircraft would help resume flight operations to and from dysfunctional airports. He said the replacement of aging fleet with new aircraft would also reduce the losses incurred by PIA. He pointed out that the old aircraft consumed more fuel and their maintenance had substantial costs. He said there were 26 operational airports in the country, while seven had been shut down on account of insufficient traffic load. He said further that a proposal to start flights to Kashgar from Islamabad or Skardu was under consideration. Defending the increase in PIA airfare, he said it was necessitated by a surge in the prices of petroleum products. Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmad Bilour said Pakistan Railways must get 400 locomotives to become a profit-making entity. “I will be ready to be dragged by a rope around my neck if Railways runs into losses after the provision of 400 locomotives,” he said. The Finance Ministry had arranged Rs 6.1 billion from banks as part of efforts to revamp Pakistan Railways, he added. He said 20 locomotives had recently been rehabilitated, while 100 more would be rehabilitated by the end of the year.
Bilour said Pakistan Railways has 494 diesel electric locomotives of various horsepowers, and a fleet of 1,761 passenger coaches and 17,698 goods wagons. Out of 494 locomotives, 57 are temporarily deleted, 231 were ineffective because of unavailability of imported spare parts in back shops and 60 were under maintenance in sheds. The remaining 146 locomotives were available for passenger, freight, departmental and shunting services, he added. In a written reply, Information Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan told the House that a transmitter had been installed in the new premises of Radio Pakistan Turbat. She said since it was a 15-year-old transmitter, it may require modification and an upgrade.