Amid heightened Indo-Pak tension, Pakistan has decided not to send a representative to attend an international conference on voter education being organised by the Election Commission in New Delhi. Earlier, Member, Election Commission of Pakistan Shakeel Ahmed was to attend the two-day conference beginning October 19. But the Election Commission said, “Pakistan has not confirmed participation.”
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Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha told reporters in New Delhi that the invites were sent online some three months back and election bodies were asked to register their participation online.
“There is no confirmation by Pakistan,” Sinha said. The conference starts Wednesday morning for which most of the participants have already arrived.
He said “35-40” countries were invited for the event and 23 have confirmed their participation. Five international organisations, including the UNDP, are also attending the event. Commission sources later said no representative from Pakistan is attending the event.
The first-ever global conference on voter education is being organised by the Election Commission in association with the UNDP with the main purpose of exchanging the experiences of election management bodies.
The conference will deliberate upon five topics ranging from electoral literacy to enhanced participation by special categories of voters. The commission will also launch an NRI survey-cum-competition with an aim of gathering useful data and also attracting and engaging NRIs about their voting eligibility and rights.
“This will also help guide the Commission in formulating further voting initiatives especially designed for the Overseas Indian population,” Sinha said.