ISLAMABAD: President Mamnoon Hussain has said that a corruption-free society is possible only if the reasons behind social evils are seriously examined and work is done to eradicate them.
In a message on International Anti-Corruption Day on Thursday, Mr Hussain said that Pakistan was at the forefront of the international community in its struggle to eliminate corruption at official and public levels “as we believe that a system free of all forms of corruption and injustice is the foundation of a stable democratic society”.
Besides, the president participated in an event held by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) where he launched a smartphone app called `Click ECP’ which aims to provide detailed information to voters.
“History shows that these social evils were based on greed and lust for money and led to lawlessness, nepotism and growing desires, said the president, adding that Pakistan came into being under a grand universal philosophy — the purpose of which was to provide justice to the people of the country,” read the message.
According to the president, this was one of the reasons that after its creation, Pakistan in a very short period was able to create an important place for itself by achieving many landmarks due to the untiring efforts of its elders.
However, he said that problems emerged when rule of law weakened and lawbreaking elements increased in numbers.
The president commended the efforts made by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for organising events across the country and hoped that NAB would succeed in establishing a fair and equitable system to meet expectations of the nation.
Voting rights and information
Addressing the event held to mark National Voters Day at Aiwan-i-Sadr, President Hussain said that people must realise that the nation’s destiny would be decided through the ballot.
He added that the younger generation should be raised with an understanding of how the sanctity of the vote should be protected.
Mr Hussain said this at the launch of ECP’s smartphone app Click ECP which aims to provide voters information about their votes, rules and regulations, how to cast, check and modify your vote, register and details about new initiatives.
“Articles related to the sanctity of voting should be included in the academic syllabus to create awareness in the masses right from the beginning,” said the president.
“The country’s electoral system has entered the modern age with the introduction of electronic voting and biometric machines to ensure transparency and improvement in the system,” he said, adding that by using the ECP’s app, every voter would be able to access information about his or her vote.
He stressed that said political parties, civil society and mosques should be included in creating awareness about the importance of voting.
President Mamnoon said marking the National Voters Day annually was significant in creating awareness about the importance of casting your vote as a national obligation.
“Improvement in the electoral system is a continuous process in which the parliament, political parties, think-tanks and other social organisations play a pivotal role,” he said.
He explained that it was to achieve this objective that the ECP and other departments had to take these much-needed steps. The president added that the nation expected all technical issues and hurdles to be eliminated before the next general elections.
Chief Election Commissioner retired Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza said that at present, the ECP was busy in ensuring that the next general elections would be free, fair and transparent.
He said that the annual review of the electoral process was underway and mentioned several steps taken by the ECP, including pilot tests the electronic and biometric machines, result management and transmission system, Click ECP, the SMS service, computerised electoral rolls linked with the National Database and Registration Authority and printing ballot paper with a watermark.
Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal, parliamentarians and members of ECP were also present at the event.