The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday ordered three election candidates from the Allahu Akbar Tehreek (AAT) to submit copies of their computerised national identity cards (CNICs) and passports after it emerged that their names are included in the United Nations' terror watchlist, DawnNews TV reported.
A three-member ECP bench, headed by Abdul Ghaffar Soomro — the ECP member from Sindh — heard the case. Mohammad Ashraf, who is running from the NA-149 constituency in Sahiwal; Zafar Iqbal, who is contesting from the PP-113 constituency in Faisalabad; and Ehsan Ranjha from the PP-67 constituency in Mandi Bahauddin, appeared before the ECP today.
No representative from the interior ministry appeared before the bench.
The counsel for AAT candidates argued that it was "unfair" to summon them one day before elections.
The bench ordered the candidates in question to submit the copies of their CNICs and passports along with a written response to the ECP. The hearing was adjourned until August 29.
The candidates will still be able to contest elections on July 25. However, if the ECP decides against their eligibility, they will be denotified.
The ECP had taken notice of the matter last week and issued a notice to all three candidates, ordering them to appear before the body. The notices, titled "Pakistan's commitments under FATF and participation of MML in the general elections 2018 from the Allahu Akbar Tehreek" told the candidates that in case of their failure to appear before the ECP, the matter would be decided in their absence.
The banned Milli Muslim League (MML) — a political face of Hafiz Saeed-led Jamaatud Dawa —was denied registration by the ECP, following which the party fielded its candidates from the platform of AAT.