ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has suspended the membership of as many as 150 lawmakers including a chief minister, five federal ministers and two state ministers over failure to submit the statement of their assets and liabilities.
The list included 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.
According to ECP, the suspended members include three senators from Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) including Musaddiq Malik, federal ministers including Fawad Chaudhry, Noorul Haq Qadri, Hammad Azhar, Shafqat Mahmood, Fehmida Mirza and ministers of state including Farrukh Habib and Shabbir Ali Qureshi.
The ECP has also suspended the membership of former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, Dr Amir Liquat Hussain, Firdous Shamim, Ali Gohar Khan, Sadaqat Abbassi, Raja Fayyaz, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Yar Mohammad Rind, Mir Sikandar Ali, Sardar Owais Ahmed Khan Leghari, Samiullah Chaudhry, Salman Naeem and Sabtain Khan Niazi.
The ECP said that lawmakers cannot participate in parliamentary proceedings and their membership will remain suspended until they submit their respective statements.
Almost every year, the commission suspends the membership of scores of lawmakers for not submitting the statement. Last year, the membership of 154 members was suspended
by the ECP.
Under Section 137 of the Elections Act, 2017 every member of an assembly and Senate have to submit to the ECP, on or before December 31 each year, a copy of statement of assets and liabilities including assets and liabilities of his spouse and dependent children as on the preceding thirtieth day of June on Form B.
The commission, on the first day of January each year through a press release, will publish the names of members who failed to submit the requisite statement of assets and liabilities within the period specified under sub-section (1).
The ECP official said that the Commission will, 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 fifteenth day of January and such member will cease to function till he or she files the statement of assets and liabilities. – TLTP