ISLAMABAD: The Elec­tion Commission of Pakistan suspended on Friday 272 lawmakers, including some federal and provincial ministers, for their failure to submit to the ECP their statements of assets and liabilities.

The law specifies Oct 15 as the last date for notifying the suspension of lawmakers for their failure to submit statements of their assets and liabilities and those of their spouses and dependents by Sept 30.

The ECP notification does not include names of hundreds of lawmakers who submitted their statements on or after Oct 1, and has some apparent flaws in it.

Malik Muhammad Rafiq Rajwana, who was picked up for the post of Punjab Governor after Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar’s resignation, has been suspended by the ECP as a senator and the seat vacated by him has been filled by Saud Majeed of the PML-N.

The name of Ayesha Raza Farooq of PML-N has appeared on the list of suspended lawmakers as a member of the National Assembly, though she won a Senate seat in March this year.

Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan, Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Muhammad Yusuf and Minister of State for Religious Affairs Pir Aminul Hasnat are among 62 members of the National Assembly suspended by the ECP.

The PML-N dominates the list of suspended MNAs with 37 of the 62 members belonging to the party.

The list also includes PPP leader Makhdoom Amin Fahim, former speaker of the National Assembly Dr Fehmida Mirza, PTI leaders Shafqat Mehmood and Arif Alvi and MQM’s Abdul Rasheed Godil.

The senators suspended include PML-N Secretary General Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, Rahila Magsi, Ghous Muhammad Khan Niazi (PML-N), Taj Haider and Gianchand (PPP), Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif and Dr Farogh Naseem (MQM), Hasil Khan Bijenjo of National Party, Shahi Syed of Awami National Party (ANP), Saeeedul Hasan Mandokhel of PML-Q and two independent lawmakers Taj Muhammad Afridi and Hilal ur Rahman.

The commission has also suspended the membership of 123 MPAs of Punjab, including two non-Muslims, 14 women elected on reserved seats and 107 elected on general seats.

The number of MPAs having failed to meet the ECP’s mandatory requirement in Sindh is comparatively low with 26 suspended by the commission. Included among them is Mukesh Kumar Chawla, who is also a provincial minister.

The membership of another two Sindh ministers – Sohail Awan and Ali Nawaz Mehar – has also been suspended.

Of the 124 members of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, 39 MPAs have been suspended -- one non-Muslim and five women legislators elected on reserved seats and 33 elected on general seats.

Nine members of the Balochistan Assembly, including two women elected on reserved seats, have been suspended. Two cabinet members, Nawab Ayaz Khan Jogezai and Mir Khalid Langov, are included in the list of suspended lawmakers.

Published in Dawn, October 17th, 2015

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