Islamabad -  The Election Commission of Pakistan on Thursday restored the registration of 13 political parties including the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan.

The ECP had delisted the MQM-P along with 283 other political parties under Election Act, 2017 after they failed to comply with the commission's orders to submit copies of national identity cards of at least 2,000 workers of each and Rs200,000 in fee.

On December 26, 2017, the ECP had issued show-cause notices to 317 political parties including the MQM-P for not providing the details it had sought, and on January 12, the MQM-P along with 283 other parties, was de-listed by the ECP.

A four-member ECP bench headed by Chief Election Commissioner Justice (retd) Sardar Mohammad Raza Khan announced the verdict after hearing arguments by party's lawyer, Faroogh Naseem. MQM-P leader Farooq Sattar was also present in the court for the hearing.

Earlier, Barrister Naseem told the bench that their party’s registration was suspended for not submitting the Rs0.2 million fee and that the party had erred as it was not aware of the new laws but now it has completed all the formalities.

"We have appeared here in relation to an appeal against the ECP's decision to delist the MQM-P," Barrister Naseem said.

He recalled that the ECP had issued notices on October 20 and November 14 to political parties to comply with the formalities under the Elections Act 2017.

He said that on December 26, the commission had sent show-cause notices, asking the political parties to file their responses within 15 days.

"The deadline expired on January 10. On January 11, we appeared in the ECP and sought five days to file the details of party workers from across the country," Barrister Naseem said and added that the party was denied its request.

"On January 12, the ECP refused to receive details from us. A petition was then filed in the ECP,” he said.

He requested that the details being provided by the MQM-P should be accepted and the party's registration be restored. "The law was new, our mistake should be forgiven," he pleaded.

"The MQM-P is the fourth largest party in the country," Naseem pointed out. He said that the ECP had made the right move by de-listing parties that were not genuine, maintaining that the MQM-P was a genuine party.

The ECP in its decision ruled that the party will now have the right to contest the upcoming Senate and general polls on its election symbol, the kite.