The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has suspended the memberships of 332 lawmakers of the Senate and the National and Provincial Assemblies for failing to submit details of their assets, an annual legal requirement.
A notification carrying names of the legislators (also who are lawmakers on account of reserved seats) and their respective constituencies was issued here.
According to the ECP notification, these lawmakers “shall cease to function as members with immediate effect till such statements are submitted by them”.
Interestingly, the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Mohamed Qasim Suri, who made his way to the legislature from NA-265, is among those who have been suspended.
The suspended lawmakers include some members of the cabinet, namely Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, National Health Services (NHS) Minister Aamer Mehmood Kiani, Minister for Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan Ali Amin Gandapur, and Minister for Housing and Works Tariq Bashir Cheema.
Among the members of the National Assembly (MNA) suspended are Baluchistan National Party – Mengal (BNP-Mengal) president Akhtar Mengal, and Ahsan Iqbal of the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N), and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)’s Mohamed Yousaf Talpur.
Among the senators suspended by the ECP are Anwarul Haq Kakar, Musadik Malik, Raheela Magsi, Hidayat Ullah, Sitara Ayaz, and Mohamed Akram.
No salary or benefits shall be availed by the suspended lawmakers, beginning January 16, until the submission of the statements of assets and liabilities.
Similarly, they will not be able to attend the respective legislatures and their standing committees or discharge of their responsibilities as cabinet members.
As per the notification, as many as 72 members of the National Assembly and 20 members of the Senate stand suspended.
Another 115 members of the Punjab Assembly, 52 members of the Sindh Assembly, 54 members of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, and 19 members of the Baluchistan Assembly have also been suspended.
The Election Commission says that the Elections Act 2017 requires that “every member of an assembly and Senate shall submit to the Commission, on or before December 31 each year, a copy of his or her statement of assets and liabilities including assets and liabilities of his spouse and dependent children”.
The Senate, National Assembly and four provincial assemblies consist of 1,174 legislators: of these, so far 839 filed their related documents.
Three seats are lying vacant.
The notification has been dispatched to the respective legislatures for necessary action.
The Election Commission had issued a final warning to 688 legislators on January 1, reminding about the legal requirement.
The ECP had issued a final notice to senators, MNAs and members of the Provincial Assembly (MPA) who had not submitted these details, giving them till 5pm on January 15 to do so.
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