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ISLAMABAD: In what appears to be manifestation of great success of the online system introduced to scrutinise credentials of electoral candidates, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has identified over 100 dual nationals and 2,178 defaulters out of the total 21,482 candidates for the national and provincial assemblies.

According to a 131-page report of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) submitted to the ECP, a copy of which is available with Dawn, anomalies were found in 49 nomination papers filed for the National Assembly, 53 for the Punjab Assembly, 11 for the Sindh Assembly, eight for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly and one for the Balochistan Assembly.

Also read: Dual nationality: a conflict of interest for bureaucrats?

As many as 60 candidates were found to be also holding the nationality of the UK and 26 of the United States. On the list, which carries the names of the PPP’s Murad Ali Shah, PTI’s Faisal Vawda and PML-N’s Chaudhry Khursheed Zaman, 24 candidates hold the Canadian passport, three that of Ireland and two hold Belgian nationality. The list also carries dual nationality holder one each of Singapore, Australia, Germany, Italy, South Africa, Spain and Uzbekistan.

Many of them have undertaken dozens of foreign trips and in at least one case the number goes to around 150 foreign visits, according to the report. The ECP rules are not clear whether those who have started the process of renunciation of their foreign nationality will still be treated as dual nationals.

FIA reports to ECP that over 2,178 defaulters are among those in electoral race

“….All those contesting candidates who have travelled on a foreign travel document as per our record but have initiated renunciation process to surrender their foreign nationality have been treated as foreign travel document holder,” the report said.

The dual nationals among the candidates for National Assembly seats include Mohammad Gulfam (NA-13), Mohammad Tariq (NA-18), Tufail Mohammad (NA-19), Arsallah Khan Hoti (NA-21), Siraj Mohammad (NA-25), Arshad Bashir (NA-32), Hashim Inamullah Khan (NA-36), Mohammad Saleem (NA-40), Ali Begum Khan (NA-46), Farhana Qamar (NA-53), Chaudhry Mohammad Khursheed Zaman (NA-58), Mohammad Azhar Aslam (NA-60), Nadeem Khadim (NA-66), Bilal Azhar (NA-66), Mohammad Akram (NA-73), Mohammad Akbar Chaudhry (NA-74), Ali Zahid (NA-74), Naveed Anwar Bhinder (NA-81), Mohammad Naveed (NA-86), Malik Mohammad Wazir (NA-87), Aqeel Ahmed (NA-102), Zahid Akram (NA-14 and 128), Nasira Sangal (NA-137 & NA-138), Ghulam Mujtaba Rai (NA-141), Sumera Ahsan (NA-141), Umair Anwar (NA-142), Jahan Ara Chaudhry (NA-143), Ahmad Yar Haraj (NA-151), Liaquat Ali Khan (NA-158), Tehmina Shafique Ahmed (NA-182), Nadir Leghari (NA-204), Sardar Mohammad Usman Almani Baloch (NA-211), Babar Chandio (NA-225), Arshad Naeem Khan (NA-227), Zafar Ali Khan (NA-227), Sabir Hussain (NA-244), Habib Shaikh (NA-246), Fauzia Danial Kasuri (NA-247) and Faisal Vawda (NA-249), while Araish Kumar, Farhana Qamar, Nasira Sangal, Maleeka Ali Bokhari, Mehr Shafiq Ahmed, Tashfeen Safdar and Kausar Nasir filed nomination papers for reserved seats.

On the list those fighting seats in Punjab Assembly include Jahangir Khanzada (PP-2), Razik Dad Khan (PP-5), Mohammad Haroon Kamal Hashmi (PP-7), Shakila Shaukat (PP-8 and 9), Chaudhry Mohammed Ishtiaq (PP-8), Chaudhry Mohammad Khurshid Zaman (PP-8), Lal Hussain (PP-26), Tauseef Raza Hussain (PP-26), Nadeem Khadim (PP-26), Zafar Iqbal (PP-26), Bilal Azhar (PP-26), Syed Amir Hamza Peerzada (PP-26), Khurshid Alam Chaudhry (PP-28), Ali Raza Warraich (PP-30), Choudhry Naeem Akhtar (PP-33),Mohammad Akram (PP-36), Mohammad Akhlaq (PP-36), Tariq Subhani (PP-38), Mohammad Akbar (PP-40),Babar Siddique (PP-46), Najam Hussain Cheema (PP-53), Naveed Anwar Bhinder (PP-59), Baasima Chaudhry (PP-66), Amir Abdullah Khan (PP-87), Mohammad Ramzan (PP-120), Mohammad Tariq (PP-131), Naveed Akhtar Khan (PP-139), Imtiaz Mehmood (PP-152), Chaudhry Mohammad Aatif (PP-159 and 167), Imtiaz Mehmood (PP-166), Abrar Hussain (PP-173), Nasira Sangal (PP-175), Mohammad Javed (PP-183), Jahan Ara Chaudhry (PP-184), Ahmad Yar Hiraj (PP-205), Liaquat Ali Khan (PP-221), Mohammad Afzal Karim (PP-231), Mohammad Ali Langrial (PP-232), Mohammad Sohail Wahid (PP-260), Masud Majeed Khan (PP-262), Sardar Arslan H Leghari (PP-265), while Araish Kumar, Munawar Sultana, Riffatul Muntaha Qureshi, Amra Shahbaz, Baasima Chaudhry and Tashfeen Safdar have filed their nomination papers for reserved seats.

The 11 candidates for the Sindh assembly including Nadir Akmal Khan Leghari (PS-19), Sardar Mohammad Usman Almani Baloch (PS-33 and 34), Ameeruddin Abro (PS-58), Babar Chandio (PS-63, 64 and 67), Zafar Ali Rajput (PS-67), Murad Ali Shah (PS-80), Habib Shaikh (PS-109) and Syed Imran Ali Shah (PS-129) have also found to be holding dual nationality.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, eight candidates including Habibul Mukhtar (PK-13), Zulfikar Khan Tanoli (PK-33), Mohammad Qasim Shah (PK-42), Mohammad Farooq Khan (PK-45), Arsallah Khan Hoti(PK-52), Ziaullah Khan (PK-6), Zahid Khan (PK-63) and Hisham Inamullah Khan (PK-92) appeared to be foreign passport holders.

In Balochistan a candidate Asim Ali Shah (PB-26) was found to be dual national.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra), State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), National Accountability Bureau (NAB), FIA, Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL), Sui Southern Gas Pipelines Limited (SSGPL) and Pakistan Telecommunication Limited (PTCL) had been digitally connected through secure private link under the online scrutiny project meant to help returning officers make informed decisions during scrutiny of nomination papers.

The law provides eight days for scrutiny of nomination papers, but the time squeezed to five days due to Eid holidays, but the seemingly impossible challenge was accomplished due to efficient use of technology.

Published in Dawn, June 19th, 2018

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