ISLAMABAD: A crucial two-day meeting of the Election Commission of Pakistan will begin here on Monday to decide the fate of over 200 lawmakers, including Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, who have not yet submitted declarations that they do not hold dual nationality. The deadline for submitting the affidavit expired last week.
When contacted, an ECP official confirmed that the issue was on the agenda of the meeting which would also discuss and review arrangements for general elections.
Besides this, the ECP will also decide about affidavits submitted by dozens of lawmakers without the required attestation.
According to sources in the ECP, there are 212 lawmakers, including some leading politicians of the PPP and MQM, who did not submit the affidavit by Nov 9, the deadline set by the ECP on the basis of the Supreme Court’s verdict in the dual nationality case.
Those who have defied the ECP directive include 75 members of the National Assembly and 29 senators. Besides, there are 76 members from the provincial assembly of Sindh, 24 of Punjab, seven of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and one of Balochistan who have not filed declarations.
The ECP, through a letter on Oct 9, had asked MPs and provincial lawmakers to submit within one month declarations which should be attested by oath commissioners to affirm that they did not posses dual nationality.
Besides Prime Minister Raja Pervez, prominent among those who have so far not filed affidavits are Punjab PPP President Manzoor Wattoo, Leader of the House in Senate Jahangir Badr, Senator Raza Rabbani, Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan, Makhdoom Shahabuddin, Imtiaz Safdar Warraich, Nazar Gondal, Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Syed Khursheed Shah, Defence Minister Syed Naveed Qamar and JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman.
Similarly, Minister for Overseas Pakistanis Dr Farooq Sattar, Haider Abbas Rizvi, Khush Bakht Shujaat, Babar Ghouri, Mustafa Kamal, Tahir Mashhadi and Nasreen Jalil are among the MQM lawmakers who have not filed their declarations.
The ECP had warned in its letter that those failing to submit the affidavit on oath would be considered dual nationals and action could be initiated against them.
The Supreme Court has already disqualified about a dozen lawmakers for possessing dual nationality.
Sources said that a list of the lawmakers who had submitted affidavits without attestation included Leader of Opposition in the Senate Ishaq Dar, Raja Zafarul Haq, Sardar Zulfikar Khosa, M. Hamza, Syed Zafar Ali Shah, Pervaiz Rashid, Chief Whip of PPP in the Senate Islamuddin Sheikh, Hasil Bijenjo of National Party, Dr Attiya Inayatullah, Minister of State for Information Sumsam Bokhari, former minister of state Tasnim Ahmad Qureshi, former defence minister Aftab Shaabaan Mirani, Bushra Gohar, Bushra Rehman, Yasmin Rehman, Chaudhry Barjees Tahir, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Noor Alam Khan, Hanif Abbasi, Ayatullah Durrani, Nawab Yousuf Talpur and Noorul Haq Qadri.
The ECP sources said that in the two-day meeting, officials of Nadra, Printing Corporation of Pakistan and other departments concerned would brief the commission on arrangements being made for the general elections likely to be held in March next year.