Prime Minister Imran Khan Tuesday said the government has decided to introduce electronic voting in the general election and also move a bill in parliament to amend the current mode of secret ballot in the Senate polls to show of hands, in a bid to ensure fair and transparent polls. Talking to the media after meeting with the Electoral Reforms Committee, the prime minister said the bill is aimed at discouraging ‘vote selling’ in the upcoming Senate elections. He said the constitutional amendment requires a two-thirds majority and that it will expose which political party supports or opposes the corrupt practices. He said the move is unprecedented on the part of a sitting government and recalled that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in 2018 had expelled its 20 lawmakers for selling their votes. On the electronic voting, he said consultations with the Election Commission were underway to devise a system based on the data provided by the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA). Besides ensuring transparency, he said, the computerized system would also benefit the nine million Pakistanis living abroad to conveniently poll their votes online. The prime minister thanked the people of Gilgit-Baltistan for reposing confidence in the PTI during the recent election and lauded the big turnout even from far-flung areas despite tough weather conditions. He said his government stood by its pledge to grant provisional provincial status to the GB to end the sense of deprivation among its people. Every possible step would be taken to bring development in the area, he added. The GB people, he said, would be kept updated about the steps taken in phases for the establishment of their province. Imran Khan dismissed the allegations of opposition parties of rigging in the GB polls and stressed the need for a spirit among the political parties to accept defeat. He recalled that the purpose behind PTI’s demand to open four constituencies after the 2013 general election was to set in place a system of transparent and free polls in future. Even as the skipper of cricket team, Imran Khan said, he had always campaigned for neutral umpires in the matches. The prime minister expressed confidence that with the implementation of electoral reforms, the country would witness a norm among the political parties to have faith in the polling process and accept the results. The premier also talked about rigging allegations following the 2013 and 2018 general elections. He said that in 2013, all parties including PML-N, which had won, had agreed that the election was rigged and 133 petitions by different people were filed in the Election Commission of Pakistan. The PTI, he said, demanded that polling in four constituencies be investigated. “Why did we say four constituencies? A government cannot be formed through four constituencies, PTI would not have come into power. We said this so that after an audit [of the four constituencies] is held […] whatever had happened would have come out in the open. Once the [facts] would come forward, the shortcomings could have been overcome so that the next election is transparent,” said the prime minister, and added that his party had approached the Parliament, ECP as well as the Supreme Court so that an investigation could be held. “After exhausting all legal options for a year, the party arranged a 126-day long sit-in so that the electoral process can be fixed,” he said. The prime minister then addressed rigging allegations in the 2018 elections and said that the PTI had filed more petitions in the ECP than the opposition. The premier said that in the 2018 polls, the caretaker government as well as the chief election commissioner and the polling staff in Sindh and Punjab were selected by the PML-N and the PPP. He also pointed out that his government had constituted a committee to address the opposition’s grievances over election results and said that opposition members only attended one meeting. “This was their seriousness in 2018,” he remarked. “I am putting these figures forward [to clarify] that we did not have any role in [2018 election]. We did not elect election commission members, all the staff was their (PML-N’s) own as they were in power,” he declared. The premier’s press talk comes two days after the polls in Gilgit-Baltistan, where both PML-N and PPP accused PTI of rigging. The prime minister, however, did not address those allegations in the media briefing. A day earlier, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto had claimed that there was ‘open and naked rigging’ in GB election.