ECP suspends 336 MPs, including ministers for not declaring assets

Sophia Siddiqui/Zahid Chaudhary

Islamabad—The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Saturday suspended the membership of 336 members of the two houses of Parliament and provincial assemblies for not submitting statements of their assets and liabilities and that of their spouses and dependents to the Commission. The ECP has sent names of suspended members to the respective speakers of the houses, asking them to stop them from working.
Few Prominent names among those who have not submitted details of their assets are: Leader of Opposition in National Assembly Syed Khurshid Shah, Federal Ministers for Health Saira Afzal Tarar, Commence Minister Khuram Dastagir Khan, Minister of States CADD Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, Minister of State for Religious Affairs Pir Ameen Ul Hasnat, while Provincial opposition leader in Punjab Assembly Mian Mehmood Ur Rasheed and others.
According to details, the Parliamentarians suspended by the Commission include 22 members of the Senate, 66 of National Assembly, 137 of Punjab Assembly, 49 each of Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies and 13 of Balochistan assembly.
According to statement issued by the ECP said: “Whereas, sub-section (1) of Section 25A of the Senate (Election) Act, 1975 provides that every member of the Senate shall submit a statement of assets and liabilities of his/her own, spouse and dependents annually to the Commission by the 13th day of September each year.
Whereas, sub-section (3) of Section 25A ibid further provides that the Commission shall, by the 15th day of October each year, notify the names of the members who fail to file statements of assets and liabilities within the period specified in sub-section (1) thereof and by an order, direct that such Member shall cease to function till such statement is submitted.
Under the relevant law, all parliamentarians were required to submit details of their assets, those of their spouses and children, to the ECP by last evening.
The bill was introduced in 2002 by the then military ruler General Pervez Musharraf, the law is flouted by politicians at will.
The offices of ECP including Election Commission Secretariat and all four provincial assemblies remained open on Saturday until 4pm to receive annual statements of parliamentarians.
In 2015, the ECP suspended the membership of 272 parliamentarians over their failure to submit details of their assets.

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