ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday suspended a notification regarding the election of former finance minister Ishaq Dar as senator on a reserved seat.

The ECP took the decision in pursuance of the Supreme Court’s May 9 order of suspending the notification of senator-elect Ishaq Dar as member of the upper house of parliament for his failure to appear before the court despite issuance of repeated summons.

Mr Dar, a senior leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, has been staying in London since October last year for what he claimed his “bad health”. An accountability court in Islamabad is seized with a corruption reference filed against him.

On Dec 11 last year, the accountability court had declared Mr Dar an absconder after he failed to join the trial against him.

On April 24, the Supreme Court had asked Salman Aslam Butt, the counsel for Ishaq Dar, to inform his client that he should comply with its earlier orders about his personal appearance.

A notification issued by the ECP on Friday said: “Pursuant to the orders of the Supreme Court in civil appeal No-352 of 2018 ‘Muhammad Nawazish Ali Pirzada Vs Election Commission of Pakistan through provincial election commission Lahore’, the ECP has been pleased to suspend the notification of March 9 2018, to the extent Muhammad Ishaq Dar, whereby he was declared as returned candidate from the Senate against seat reserved for technocrats including Ulema from Punjab province.”

According to a medical report submitted to the court, Mr Dar is suffering from left arm and chest pains resulting from a spinal issue in his neck and may require surgery if his condition does not improve within a month.

The medical report dated April 26 issued by the London Neurosurgery Partnership stated that Mr Dar also had cardiac issues and had to undergo an emergency stent implant in the past. The report signed off by Consultant Neurosurgeon Richard Gullan stated that an MRI had shown “quite bad spondylitic change” in Mr Dar’s neck after he started experiencing “quite unpleasant left arm and chest pain symptoms.”

In the Supreme Court, Ishaq Dar has been accused of not being entitled to contest polls under Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution.

Mr Dar’s counsel Salman Butt had requested the apex court to dismiss the petition against his client for not being maintainable and also violative of the provisions of the Constitution.

Published in Dawn, June 30th, 2018

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