PITB denies any involvement with ECP


Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) Chairman Dr Umar Saif on Friday denied reports that the board provided assistance to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and categorically denied any connection between the PITB and the RTS issue on election day, a local media outlet reported on Friday.

He added that as a provincial organisation, the PITB has helped authorities in other provinces and is ready to provide assistance to any state organ if asked.

He commended the ECP for launching a formal inquiry into the RTS issue and said that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has been approached by the PITB to fight back against fake news alleging its connection with the issue.

On election day, July 25, failure of the newly introduced Result Transmission System (RTS) had caused delays in election results and provided an opportunity to political parties to question the process.

“The fault in result by RTS that was cited by the ECP as the reason behind the delay in the release of results was a “technological failure” and elections were held in a fair and transparent manner across the country; no substantial evidence of any wrongdoing had been received by the commission.,” said an ECP spokesperson.

Asked whether the chief election commissioner should consider stepping down from his post over the alleged failings of the ECP, the spokesman said there had been no complaints regarding the arrangement and organisation of the elections, while political parties who are crying foul had not provided specifics of polling stations and constituencies regarding their complaints.

Earlier it was announced that ECP will have to pay Rs250 million despite the alleged collapse of the RTS.

According to a letter sent to the Cabinet Division, the ECP directed the Cabinet Division to constitute an inquiry committee comprising experts from National Telecommunication and Information Technology Security Board (NTSB) and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and finalise the inquiry report within one month.

According to the terms of reference (TORs) of inquiry, the committee will thoroughly analyse RTS, fix responsibility for its failure and also make recommendations for a future course of action.