The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Saturday suspended the membership of 336 members of the parliament over their failure to submit details of their assets, said a notification issued by the ECP.
The ECP has forwarded the lists of the members to the respective speakers of the houses, asking them to ensure the listed members stop working.
The parliamentarians suspended by the ECP include 66 members of the National Assembly, 22 from the Senate,137 from the Punjab Assembly, 49 from the KP Assembly, 49 from the Sindh Assembly and 13 from the Balochistan Assembly.
Opposition leader Khursheed Shah of PPP, Khurram Dastagir of PML-N, Sheikh Rasheed of Awami Muslim League, Arif Alvi of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, Saeed Ghani of the PPP and PML-N Senator Nihal Hashmi are some of the prominent names included in the ECP list.
Under the relevent law, all parliamentarians were required to submit details of their assets, including those of their spouses and children, to the ECP by Sept 30.
Introduced in 2002 by the then military ruler General Pervez Musharraf, the law is flouted by politicians at will.
The Representation of the People Act, 1976, section 42A states:
“Every member shall, on a form prescribed under clause (f) of sub-section (2) of Section 12, submit a Statements of Assets & Liabilities of his own, his spouse and dependents annually to the Commission by the thirtieth day of September each year.
The Statements of Assets and Liabilities submitted under sub-section (1) shall be published in the official Gazette and copies thereof may be obtained on payment of prescribed fee.
The Commission shall, by the fifteenth day of October each year, notify the names of the members who fail to file Statements of Assets & Liabilities within the period specified in sub-section (1) and by an order, direct that such member shall cease to function till such statement is submitted.
Where a member submits the Statements of Assets and Liabilities under sub-section (1) which is found to be false in material particulars, he may be proceeded against under Section 82 for committing the offence of corrupts practice.”
Lawmakers allege that the relevant law has several flaws and has failed to motivate any meaningful accountability, which was the basic spirit of the legislation.