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India, Pakistan can learn from poll experiences: Pakistan official

IANS  |  New Delhi 

and can learn from each other's experiences in holding elections in heterogeneous societies and in ensuring greater voter participation, a senior Commission official said on Wednesday.

"The purpose of our meeting here is to share our experience vis-a-vis holding of fair elections and sensitising voters for greater participation," Altaf Ahmad, Director in the Commission of (ECP) told IANS.

Ahmad was speaking on the sidelines of a two-day international conference on voters' education organised by the Commission of in association with the United Nations Development Programme here.

"This is a great learning platform. We can share our knowledge here," he said of the conference, where heads or senior officials of bodies from 27 countries are participating.

Highlighting the efforts made by the ECP, Ahmad said that voter participation has been increasing with each in

"This is thanks to the efforts put in by the ECP that voter participation is increasing. For example, the voter turnout in the 2008 general was a little more than 40 per cent, compared with more than 50 per cent in 2013," he said.

He said this percentage may go up to 70 per cent in the next general

"I am hoping for this, given the Commission's efforts to sensitise voters on their rights," Ahmad said.

Asked if greater voter participation will strengthen democracy in where military is perceived as more dominant, Ahmad declined comment.

"I have been given a mandate, and that mandate is voter education. The role and endeavour of the ECP is to ensure fair elections with more and more participation of voters," he said.

Ahmad said the panel in his country is using informal channels for voters' education such as utility bills, roadside hoardings and SMSes, postal services as well as religious places such as mosques, churches and temples etc.

"For a fair and truly participative elections, the entire system must contribute," he said.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, October 19 2016. 21:02 IST