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PTI terms scrutiny process flawed

April 13, 2013

Imran_Khan_1_670
Chief of the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan.—File Photo

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) criticised on Friday the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for what it called the commission’s hasty retreat against tax evaders, non-filers of tax returns and loan defaulters in the run-up to the general elections.

Talking to Dawn, the PTI’s information secretary, Shafqat Mehmood, said: “We had heard a lot that the ECP had set up a special committee comprising representatives of departments like the Federal Board of Revenue, the State Bank of Pakistan and Nadra who will carry out merciless scrutiny of candidates. But on the face of it, all that is missing.”

Without giving names, Mr Mehmood said the media recently published and telecast reports about candidates who either paid no taxes or paid paltry amounts against their huge income. “But now reports are being published and telecast that say the nomination papers of even those who defaulted on their bank loans have been accepted,” he remarked.

When asked if the PTI was questioning the entire scrutiny process of the ECP, Mr Mehmood said: “Our argument is that the commission on its own should have disqualified candidates, as it has been declaring over the last few weeks that tax evaders and loan defaulters will not be allowed to contest elections. This should not have been done by the returning officers.”

Answering another question, the PTI’s chief spokesman said that initially all the parties and institutions supported the ECP’s decision to strictly carry out the scrutiny work.

“This decision should have been implemented in letter and spirit.”