ECP restores membership of 25 MPs in NA, Senate

ISLAMABAD (Agencies): The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday restored membership of Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf dissident Noor Alam Khan among 25 parliamentarians in the National Assembly and the Senate as they submitted their annual financial statements.

The electoral authority on Monday suspended the membership of 271 parliamentarians for their failure in submitting details of their financial records. According to the notification issued by the ECP, the membership of Leader of the Opposition in NA Raja Riaz Ahmed, Raza Rabbani, Syed Basit Ahmad Sultan, Shaza Fatima Khawaja, Musarrat Asif Khawaja, Shahida Rahman and others have also been restored.

In addition to this, the membership of Ahmad Khan, Anwarul Haq Kakar and two others have been restored in the Senate. Membership of 21 lawmakers in the NA and four in the Senate have been restored today. It is pertinent to mention here that those suspended include 136 members from the parliament’s Lower House and 21 from the Upper House.

On Monday, the electoral authority also suspended the membership of provincial assembly members including 48, 12 and 54 from Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa respectively. Every member of an assembly and senate is liable to submit relevant details of their assets and liabilities to the election commission before December 31 every year. The members must also disclose the financial statements of their spouse and dependent children on Form-B every year on June 30.

“In pursuance of sub-section (3) of Section 137 ibid and in the exercise of all other powers enabling it on that behalf, the Election Commission is pleased to notify hereunder, for information of the general public, the names of members of the Senate who have failed to file their statement of assets and liabilities including assets and liabilities,” the ECP notification had read. Prominent senators who have had their membership suspended include PTI’s Sania Nishtar, Azam Swati, Aon Abbas, and Zarqa Suharwardy Taimur; PML-N Senator Kamran Michael; and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) senators Taj Haider and Syed Waqar Mehdi, among others.

Suspended members of the Lower House include Chairman Public Accounts Committee Noor Alam Khan, PTI’s Asad Umar, Murad Saeed Omar Ayub Khan, Asad Qaiser, Shehryar Afridi, Ali Amin Gandapur, Noor Ul Haq Qadri, Zartaj Gul, Andleeb Abbas, Maleeka Bokhari, Alamgir Khan, Ali Zaidi and Abdul Shakoor Shad. Fehmida Mirza of the Grand Democratic Alliance has also faced suspension of her membership.