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Pakistan considers biometric-based e-voting, installs biometric system at airports


Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) director Burhan Rasool recently said that biometrics-based electronic voting is definitely possible in Pakistan as the National Database and Registration Authority has the means to provide the necessary technology to the election commission, according to a report by The Daily Times.

Rasool said that an electronic voting system based on data taken from citizen’s biometric identification can be accomplished if the government is able to rally the political will and consensus of all political parties and stakeholders.

In a recent presentation delivered at Insitute of Policy Studies, Rasool provided an overview of the different e-governance initiatives implemented by the provincial government in the recent past.

He spoke about the need for certain technologies, criticizing the government’s earlier bureaucratic systems for not having effective performance monitoring and evaluation solutions, and therefore hindered progress.

However, once PITB adopted certain technological solutions, such as the use of mobile applications for checks and balances, the government was able to considerably improve the situation, said Rasool.

In a separate report by The Nation, the Federal Investigation Agency has decided to install biometric systems at all Pakistan airports after the growing number of cases of human smuggling in recent years.

The FIA will also install a surveillance system at all Pakistan airports with the cooperation of Airport Security Force, Anti-Narcotics Force and Civil Aviation Authority to control cases of human smuggling and human trafficking.

The biometric machines are being installed at all Pakistan airports within the next week to monitor the flow of passengers travelling and to identify those passengers with fake travel documents, said a FIA senior officer,

The system will be connected with National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) and Directorate General of Immigration and Passports.

The biometric modalities are currently being finalized with the respective departments, which will verify the travel documents of all passengers through their biometrics at both the arrival and departure gates of all airports.

The FIA has also installed an Integrated Border Management System at all the entry and exit routes of the country to record the biometric data of all passengers travelling to and from Pakistan.

Currently, Airport Security Force, Anti Narcotic Force and FIA have installed and operate their own security cameras separately at each airport.

The new system will comprise of a single security system of CCTV cameras installed at the airport, which will be solely operated by the Civil Aviation Authority that, said the FIA officer.

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