Islamabad: The Federal Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) has refused to share key details about the electronic voting machines (EVMs) with the election commission of Pakistan (ECP).
The ministry says it cannot immediately provide the source code and construction design of the EVMs to the ECP for fear of piracy.
The software and hardware information could be provided only after an agreement with the manufacturers, the ministry has said responding to a request by the ECP.
The development comes amid a struggle between the ECP and the government over the use of EVMs in the upcoming general elections of 2023. The government and the ECP have accused each other of machination over the issue.
The ECP had asked the federal ministry to provide the source code and the construction designs of the EVMs the government is so eager to introduce. However, the ministry said it could neither share the source code and construction design nor other software and hardware information.
It said the source code and construction design could be stolen.
Science Minister Shibli Faraz said the ministry has not refused to share the information but technical details could be provided only after an agreement with the manufacturers.
He said the government had communicated its explanation to the ECP, not a refusal.