Pakistan’s poll body strips membership of 150 lawmakers over non-submission of asset details

Pakistan’s election body on Monday temporarily suspended the membership of around 150 federal and provincial lawmakers, including Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry and Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, over their failure to submit details of their assets and liabilities.

Last year, at least 154 members were suspended by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) but all of them later on submitted tax details and their membership was restored.

The ECP’s move came after the elected representatives violated the mandatory filing of assets and liabilities by the end of each year.

According to a notification, “every member of an assembly and Senate shall submit to the ECP, on or before December 31 each year, a copy of his statement of assets and liabilities including assets and liabilities of his spouse and dependent children as on the preceding thirtieth day of June”.

The law provides that the ECP shall, on the sixteenth day of January, by an order suspend the membership of a member of an assembly and Senate who fails to submit the statement of assets and liabilities by the 15th day of January and such “member shall cease to function till he files the statement of assets and liabilities”.

Those suspended cannot participate in parliamentary proceedings and their membership will remain suspended until they submit their respective statements, according to the ECP.

The ECP said that those hit by the suspension include three senators, 36 members of the National Assembly, 69 members of the Punjab Assembly, 14 members of the Sindh Assembly, 21 members of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly and seven members of the Balochistan Assembly.

Information Minister Chaudhry, Religious Affairs Minister Noorul Haq Qadri, Energy Minister Hammad Azhar, Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood, Inter-Provincial Coordination Minister Fehmida Mirza and ministers of state for information Farrukh Habib are among the members hit by the suspension.

Former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and Sindh Chief Minister Shah are also among the lawmakers suspended from attending the respective assemblies.

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Printable version | May 22, 2022 10:09:28 am |