Declaration of financial assets has been the biggest debate in political circles in the last couple of years and 495 lawmakers failing to submit their financial record to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is a cause for concern. The annual statements of assets and liabilities allow the ECP to confirm whether or not lawmakers have declared all their assets as per law so that no one is dealing with finances that are undeclared and against the law. ECP requires the help of the government in the matter to push these lawmakers to submit their documents. Several leaders from Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) have also made the list. These include several state ministers like Shehryar Afridi, Faisal Vawda, Sheikh Rashid Ahmad, and Chief Minister Usman Buzdar among many others.

The scrutiny should start from members of the party itself in order to set a precedent. All those required by the ECP must follow the deadline in order to allow the body to do its job within the given framework of time. Such delays across the board create hindrances in matters of governance - a problem plaguing this government from day one in office. The overall ratio of those who did not submit their documents includes 166 members of the National Assembly, 32 members of the Senate, 190 members of the Punjab Assembly, 82 members of the Sindh Assembly, 85 members of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly and 40 members of the Balochistan Assembly.

The government should penalise members of the parliament who fail to follow these orders. Financial scrutiny is one of the objectives of the government this year and they have even made efforts to facilitate those in the parliament by introducing amendments in the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) law. Those failing to meet deadlines must be questioned as to why these delays are being caused. Those from the ruling party should be at the forefront of the movement against financial indiscretions. The government has been in place for over a year now and the lack of such documentation will only create further cleavages within the system. With the International Monetary Fund (IMF) clauses in place along with the deadlines of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the declaration of assets and liabilities should not be delayed. If the ECP alone cannot take any action against the said members, the government itself should excercise its authority to get the job done.