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— File Photo

ISLAMABAD:The Election Commission of Pakistan denotified 11 lawmakers on Sunday over the case of possession of fake degrees and ordered them to return back all perks and privileges received during their tenure as lawmakers, DawnNews reported.

According to the ECP the 11 lawmakers, whose degrees were declared fake by the Higher Education Commission (HEC), were disqualified and they include eight former members of provincial assemblies and three members of Senate.

The disqualified lawmakers were ordered to reimburse all perks and privileges drawn for the period they occupied the public office.

The disqualified lawmakers include member of Senate Rehana Yahya Baloch, Mir Israrullah Zehri, Mohabat Khan Marri and members of provincial assembly from Punjab, Samina khawar Hayat, Seemal Kamran, Shumaila Rana and Rana Ejaz Noon, and Sindh's Mir Nadir Magsi and Basheer Ahmad Khan, and Nawabzada Tariq Magsi from Balochistan.

Code of conduct

The ECP issued its new code of conducted on Sunday before the upcoming general elections according to which candidates would be barred from seeking votes on the basis of race or sect.

Provision of free transport for vote-casting, leaving the polling station with the ballot paper and chasing voters away from polling stations was declared as a punishable offense according to the new guidelines.

Moreover the ECP has prohibited the setting up of party camps within a 400 metre radius of polling stations.

Army takes over security

Earlier on Sunday morning Army troops were deployed in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad to provide security during the printing of ballot papers for the upcoming general elections.

The Printing Corporation of Pakistan handed over security responsibilities to the Army at 12 am Sunday.

The process of printing is to start from midnight April 19 and until April 24.

About 180 million ballot papers, 120 million sanctioned to the Printing Corporation of Pakistan and 60 mittion to the Security Printing Corporation, would be printed for the coming general election, scheduled for May 11. The historic polls will mark Pakistan’s first democratic transition of power after a civilian government has served a full term in office.

High security arrangements have been set in place at all designated locations for the printing process to avoid any untoward incident.

Sources said that apart from authorised personnel, nobody would be allowed to enter the printing press.

Election tribunal

In related news, the election tribunal hearing the appeals filed by Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) chief Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, his bro ther Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif and Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan has advised the trio to transfer their hearing to another bench after the military took over security at the tribunal where their appeals were to be heard.

Moreover, the election tribunal resumed hearings over the appeals filed by Awami National Party's (ANP) Aqil Shah and Pakistan Peoples Party's (PPP) Ayaz Soomro against the rejection of their nomination by the Election Commission of Pakistan's (ECP) Returning Officers (R/O) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh respectively.

Aqil Shah's nomination papers were rejected over the case involving possession of fake degree,  whereas the ECP's R/O rejected Sindh's former law minister Ayaz Soomro's nomination papers over charges pertaining to theft of electricity.

Both the tribunals decided in favour of the former lawmakers accepting their nomination papers for the upcoming elections.