ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Saturday suspended the membership of as many as 337 lawmakers for their failure to submit their statements of assets and liabilities even two weeks after the deadline specified in the law.
Those suspended include six members of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s cabinet, leader of the opposition in the National Assembly and central leaders of some political parties.
The suspended lawmakers are: sixty-six members of the National Assembly, 22 senators, 137 members of the Punjab Assembly, 49 members each of the Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies and 14 members of the Balochistan Assembly.
Under the Representation of People Act, all members are required to submit to the ECP statements of assets of their own, their spouses and dependents annually by Sept 30, and the ECP is required to issue a notification by Oct 15 to suspend membership of those who fail to do so by the due date (Sept 30).
The ECP, however, each year favours lawmakers by giving them an undeclared two-week grace period by continuing to receive the statements till Oct 15.
Despite this favour, over one-fourth of lawmakers have failed to submit their statements.
Furthermore, a majority of legislators ignore the requirement of filing statements of assets of their spouses and dependents.
The suspended lawmakers can come to the ECP to submit their statements and get their membership restored.
Among the 66 suspended members of the National Assembly are federal Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastagir Khan, Minister of State for Capital Administration and Development Division Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, Minister of State for Religious Affairs Pir Aminul Hasnat, Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali, Minister of State for National Health Services Regulation and Coordination Saira Afzal Tarar, Minister of State for Petroleum Jam Kamal, Leader of the Opposition Syed Khurshid Ahmed Shah, Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmad, Chairman of the Council of Islamic Ideology Maulana Mohammad Khan Sheerani, former speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza and PTI leader Dr Arif Alvi.
Other suspended MNAs are: Talal Chaudhry, retired Major Tahir Iqbal, Mujahid Ali, Shehryar Afridi, Khial Zaman, Sarzameen, Sajid Hussain Turi, Jamaluddin, Shahabuddin Khan, Nasir Khan, Qaiser Jamal, Malik Itebar Khan, Chaudhry Hamid Hameed, Zulfiqar Ali Bhatti, Abdul Majeed Khan, Mohammad Afzal Khan, Chaudhry Shahbaz Babar, Sheikh Mohammad Akram, Qaiser Ahmad Sheikh, Mian Tariq Mehmood, Rana Umer Nazir Khan, Mian Shahid Hussain Bhatti, Mian Mohammad Rasheed, Irfan Dogar, Shiza Mansab Ali, Salman Hanif, Rasheed Ahmad Khan, Rana Mohammad Hayat, Malik Amir Dogar, Javed Ali Shah, Abdul Rehman Kanju, Chaudhry Iftikhar Nazir, Sardar Mansab Dogar, Athar Hussain Shah, Tariq Bashir Cheema, Mian Imtiaz Ahmed, Ghulam Mustafa Shah, Makhdoom Saeeduz Zaman, Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Sohail Mansoor Khawaja, Mehboob Alam, Ali Raza Abidi, Jam Kamal Khan, Kiran Imran Dar, Majeeda Wyne, Shahzadi Umerzadi Tiwana, Maiza Hameed, Sabiha Nazir, Shaza Fatima Khawaja, Shagufta Jumani, Mehreen Razzaque Bhutto, Dr Shazia Sobia, Aishaha Gulalai and Bhawan Das.
The 22 suspended senators are: PTI’s parliamentary leader in the house Nauman Wazir, PML-N’s chief whip Saleem Zia, Nehal Hashimi, Gianchand, Tanveerul Haq Thanvi, Saeed Ghani, Barrister Mohammad Ali Saif, Dr Mohammad Farogh Naseem, Nasreen Jalil, Hari Ram, Attaur Rehman, Liaqat Khan Tarakai, Ahmed Hassan, Mohammad Azam Khan Swati, Zahida Khan, Mir Mohammad Yousaf, Dr Ashok Kumar, Aurangzab Khan, Taj Mohammad Afridi, Haji Momin Khan Afridi, Mohammad Saleh Shah and Hilalur Rehman.
The suspended members of the Sindh Assembly include provincial Minister for Agriculture, Supply and Prices Sohail Anwar Khan Sial, Owais Muzaffar alias Tappi, Awais Qadir Shah, former Sindh chief minister Arbaba Ghulam Rahim, Hasnain Mirza, PML-N provincial president Ismail Rahu, MQM leader Faisal Sabzwari and prominent PML-F leader Nusrat Sehar Abbassi.
Opposition Leader in the Punjab Assembly Mehmoodur Rasheed is prominent among suspended members of the provincial assembly.
The 14 suspended members of the Balochistan Assembly are: Balochistan National Party chief Sardar Akhtar Mengal, Nawab Ayaz Khan Jogezai, Nasrullah Khan Zaray, Abdul Malik Kakar, Mir Abdul Majid Abro, Meer Mohammad Asim Kurd Geelo, Mir Aamir Khan Rind, Mir Khalid Langove, Mir Zafarullah Khan Zehri, Washuk Mir Mujeebul Rehman Mohammad, Mir Hammal Kalmati, Samina Khan, Yasmeen Bibi and Husan Bano.
Published in Dawn, October 16th, 2016