–PTI MPA Khurram Sher Zaman files reference against PPP co-chairman for not declaring apartment in US in his election papers
— PPP files applications in ECP seeking details of assets of PM Imran and Faisal Vawda
KARACHI: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Thursday moved a reference in the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Sindh seeking the disqualification of former president and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari for not declaring an apartment that he owns in the United States in his nomination papers for 2018 general elections.
PTI MPA Khurram Sher Zaman filed the reference, requesting the election watchdog to disqualify the former head of state as a member of the National Assembly for concealing an apartment he allegedly owns in Belaire Condominiums located at 524 East 72nd Street, New York, New York, USA, in his nomination form for the 2018 general elections.
Zardari was elected to the National Assembly from NA-213, Shaheed Benazirabad, Sindh, in the 2018 general elections.
Although ECP Sindh Commissioner Yousaf Khan Khattak reluctantly accepted Zaman’s application, he informed the PTI MPA that any action on the petition would be taken by the ECP’s Islamabad headquarters.
Speaking to reporters after submitting his application, Zaman claimed that Zardari had concealed his assets in his nomination papers and explained he filed a reference against the PPP leader under Article 62 (1)(f) of the Constitution.
“Because of this act of his, Mr Asif Ali Zardari under the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and Rules of the Election Commission of Pakistan, … as per past precedent, should be disqualified from holding public office under Article 62 (1)(f), as in my opinion he ceases to be truthful and sagacious,” says the application submitted by Zaman.
In his letter, Zaman said he was attaching documents of the property in question along with Zardari’s Form B, “which shows that he did not declare this property”.
A document submitted with the application shows Zardari as having an address at 524 East 72nd Street, New York, New York. A second document purports to show that one Ms Mehreen Shah was granted the power of attorney for the condo unit by Zardari. The veracity of the documents could not be independently confirmed.
“This serious violation of the law needs to be examined by you since Mr Zardari is a former president of Pakistan and co-chairs one of the major political parties of this country,” the application read.
The PTI lawmaker urged the ECP to investigate the matter, “and if proven true and accurate”, disqualify and de-seat Zardari as an MNA under Article 62 (1)(f).
PPP MOVES ECP FOR ASSETS DETAILS OF IMRAN, VAWDA:
Also on Thursday, the PPP filed applications in the ECP’s Islamabad office seeking details of assets of Prime Minister Imran Khan and Federal Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda.
Addressing reporters after a meeting between a PPP delegation and ECP secretary, ex-senator Farhatullah Babar said they had asked the commission to provide details of assets submitted by Prime Minister Imran for all elections he has contested in the past.
“The money trail of Imran Khan’s properties is suspect,” Babar alleged, adding that his party will prove that Khan holds undeclared properties abroad.
The PPP has also submitted applications in concerned institutions to seek details of assets owned by the prime minister’s sister, Aleema Khan, and of business interests of Jahangir Khan Tareen, a senior PTI leader.
He said the PPP will file a disqualification reference against Khan and others “based on the evidence we are gathering”.
“We want everyone in the government and the opposition to be held accountable under the same law,” Babar said, adding that the PPP will face all cases against it through legal channels.