ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) suspended on Wednesday the membership of as many as 210 lawmakers for their failure to submit annual statements of assets and liabilities. The deadline for declaration of assets expired two weeks ago.

Under the law, the members of parliament and the provincial assemblies are bound to submit every year the statements of their own assets and liabilities, their spouses’ and dependents’ by Sept 30 and the ECP is supposed to suspend those who fail to do it by Oct 15.

Prominent among the 40 suspended members of the National Assembly are former deputy speaker Chaudhry Jaffar Iqbal, former chairman of the defunct National Reconstruction Bureau Daniyal Aziz, Arifur Rahman Alvi of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, former federal minister Sardar Awais Ahmad Leghari, Pir Sadruddin Shah, Ghulam Rabbani Khar, Alizeh Iqbal Haider and Shagufta Jumani.

Dr Abdul Qayyum Soomro from Sindh and Muhammad Yusuf from Balochistan are the two senators who failed to file their statements.

The Punjab Minister for Labour and Manpower, Raja Ashfaq Sarwar, is among the 98 members of provincial assembly who failed to fulfil the legal requirement.

A close aide to former president Asif Ali Zardari, Awais Muzaffar; Hasnain Mirza, son of former National Assembly speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza; Makhdoom Rafique Zaman and Nawab Taimur Talpur are among 28 members of the Sindh Assembly who could not make it. The 32 members of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly suspended for their failure to submit their statements include Jamaat-i-Islami chief Sirajul Haq, Ziaullah Afridi, Shuakat Ali Yousafzai and Javed Nasim.

Ten members of the Balochistan Assembly suspended by the ECP include Syed Muhammad Raza, Dr Hamid Khan Achakzai, Abdul Majeed Khan and Obaidullah Khan.

Published in Dawn, October 16th, 2014