ISLAMABAD  - The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday formally started scrutiny of 9,124 nomination papers received from the candidates.

The ECP has already received replies from NAB, FBR and State Bank against 4,600 nomination papers.

Strict scrutiny of nomination papers, according to Article 62 and 63 of the Constitution, will continue till 7th April after which all ineligible candidates will be barred from contesting the upcoming general polls.

All candidates, however, have the right to file appeals against the decision of the Returning Officers on the acceptance or rejection of nomination papers till April 10. Decisions on these appeals can be taken till the 17th of April after which a final list of candidates will be published on 19th April. It must be mentioned that the number of nomination papers filed for the upcoming elections, as compared to the last elections, has dropped by almost 50 per cent. In the previous general elections, as many as 15,000 candidates had filed nomination papers. Meanwhile, the ECP has posted details of nomination papers of 500 candidates including former deputy prime minister Ch Pervaiz Elahi on its website.

As per details, Pervaiz Elahi is BA and he has paid tax amounting to Rs 2.8 million during the last there years. Ch Ahmad Saeed has filed nomination papers from NA-105 against Ch Pervaiz Elahi.

Returning officers have sought original copies of utility bills and national tax number from the candidates for the purpose of scrutiny.

The ECP has also posted on website names of 54 former parliamentarians who hold fake degrees. Degrees of 20 members of Punjab Assembly were proved fake. Fourteen members of National Assembly had not provided original educational degrees.

According to ECP, more than 3,000 nomination papers have already been scrutinised by Nadra, FBR, State Bank of Pakistan, and NAB and have been sent back to returning officers (ROs).

ECP’s Additional Secretary Afzal Khan has said that scrutiny of the candidates of the forthcoming general elections will be done without taking any pressure.  The additional secretary was of the view that no one would be able to win the elections under the shadow of guns.

The candidates will be adjudged on the touchstone of Article 62 and 63 of the Constitution for scrutiny process.

Meanwhile, PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif and Chairman PTI Imran Khan have been summoned for scrutiny of the nomination papers. The returning officer has summoned Nawaz Sharif on April 3 and April 4, whereas PTI chairman Imran Khan has been summoned on April 5.

A total of 150 candidates have submitted nomination papers for Islamabad’s constituencies of NA-48 and NA-49, which also include chief of APML Pervez Musharraf.

Former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s son Abdul Qadir Gilani has also submitted his papers for election in NA-151 and PP-200.  For the first time in the history of general elections, a woman from Bajaur Agency, Badaam Zari has submitted her papers for NA-44 as an independent candidate.